County Assessor of Property Stanley Thompson has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers.
The award was presented to Thompson at the association’s annual winter meeting by TAAO Executive Director Will Denami.
“The Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers recognizes with deep appreciation the accomplishments of Stanley Thompson whose career of service to Bradley County in the profession of property assessment within the state of Tennessee is marked with distinction, honor and excellence,” Denami said in presenting the award.
Denami also called the 30-plus year veteran of the county assessor’s office “a prime example of what citizens want in a public official.”
“Stanley is humble, dedicated, experienced and is a true leader. He has assembled a terrific team and makes them available to answer questions so other counties can benefit from their knowledge,” Denami said.
“He has mentored many assessors across the state and has earned a stellar reputation for his professionalism. It is an honor for me to be able to present the highest award we have to Stanley.”
Thompson said the honor came unexpected, but he is “humbled and honored” by the recognition of his peers throughout the state.
“I am lucky to have such a good team and we are lucky to be able to work for the people in Bradley County,” Thompson said. “We don’t try to win any awards, we just try to do the best job we can and treat everyone fairly. I appreciate being recognized for this award. It means a lot to me.”
Thompson was elected to his position in 1994 and began his career in the assessor’s office after attending drafting classes at Bradley Central being taught by Ernest Adams.
“Mr. Adams was real good in finding jobs for his students,” he said adding the chief appraiser, Arnold Tarpley, and Wayne Owenby, who currently does GIS for the department, were also Adams’ students.
All three were recommended for their positions by Adams.
Thompson was attending Cleveland State in 1985 when Adams called and said there was an opening at the county assessor’s office for mapping.
“I had a choice of coming here or working part-time at UPS during the holidays,” he said. “I chose this thinking I would stay until I found something better.”
“I did that for six or seven years [before running for the assessor’s position],” he said.
“My biggest fear when I decided to run — I never thought I’d run for anything — was public speaking,” Thompson said.
He said his presentations at school were shaky at best and after he won election to the office, his former teacher told him, “I never would imagine you being in politics.”
“I said, ‘Me, either,’” Thompson said.
Thompson called being an assessor “the accidental profession.”
“No one as a kid says they are going to grow up and be a property assessor,” he said. “When you go across the state, you find most worked in an office or just fell into it.”
“This is all I have ever done,” Thompson said.
From the Cleveland Daily Banner