Kane County Supervisor of Assessments Mark Armstrong has been named “County Official of the Year” by the Illinois Association of County Officials. The award was presented on Nov. 14 at the association’s fall conference at the Peoria Marriott Pere Marquette Hotel.
The award, which has been presented annually by the Association since 1990, is given to individuals who have contributed to the betterment of county government in a manner above and beyond what is expected in their everyday duties. It is not a longevity award, but a recognition of significant contributions to their county government and county government in general.
In a nomination form, Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen said Armstrong “has quite simply revolutionized the Supervisor of Assessments Office in Kane County.”
Since attaining that position in 2006, Armstrong has developed taxpayer presentations on the property tax process and appeal options that have been attended by more than 8,000 citizens, www.KaneCountyAssessments.org to improve transparency in the assessment process, and an e-mail notification system for property assessment notices that presently has more than 5,000 subscribers.
He has worked cooperatively with other units of government to develop and annually publish a unified guide to the property tax system and developed a unified web-based property information lookup system, which was used more than 3.3 million times in the past 12 months.
From 2006 to the present, assessments have been certified on time and under budget in every year, while reducing staff headcount by 36% during the same period.
“In all my time in state and local government, I have never met a professional more qualified than Mark Armstrong or anyone more deserving of the nomination for County Official of The Year,” Lauzen said. “We are so proud of the work he does every day on behalf of the citizens of Kane County.”
The Illinois Association of County Officials, a statewide organization of affiliate county official groups, is dedicated to maintaining and improving the quality of county government through education. Membership in IACO is made up of various county officials, including, assessing officers, auditors, board members, clerks, coroners, court clerks, regional superintendents of education, treasurers, and veterans assistance commissioners in all 102 counties.
The presentation was made by Lee County Supervisor of Assessments Wendy Ryerson, herself a recipient of the award in 2014. Recipients are selected from nominations made by other county officials, and are chosen by a panel of independent judges from outside county government.
The award was a surprise to Armstrong, who was not informed of it in advance. He was greeted by his wife, Gina Armstrong, and daughter, Ellie Armstrong, who were notified in advance and joined Armstrong at the presentation.
Armstrong has been Kane County Supervisor of Assessments since 2006, and is presently in his fourth term. Prior to taking office, he was a real estate appraiser for 21 years. He and Giva have lived in St. Charles for 28 years. Ellie is a freshman at Millikin University studying vocal music education.
It has been a banner 18 months for Armstrong, who in March received the the 2018 Marshall Theroux Memorial Award from the Illinois Property Assessment Institute — the state of Illinois’ top honor for property assessment. In September, he earned the rare “advanced designation” from the Illinois Property Assessment Institute, a level that has been achieved only 30 times in the history of the state of Illinois.
Feature Photo Caption
Mark Armstrong is presented with the 2019 County Official of the Year Award by IACO President Scott Erickson, Knox Clerk, and IACP Secretary/Treasurer Bobbi Murray Rairden, Douglas County treasurer. (Photo credit: Curtis Newport, used by permission.)