Charting a path toward a new normal as the pandemic progresses will mean finding new ways to accomplish some of the same things.
Muskogee County Assessor Ron Dean said employees in his office will do that next week while they complete their annual continuing education requirements. To accomplish that task, which is required by law, Dean said he will close the assessor's office on Wednesday and Thursday.
"Normally there's a lot of opportunities through the year to get that done at conferences and different training sessions ... they go to, which doesn't cause a disruption of the office," Dean said. "This year, because of COVID-19, they have canceled every training session and every conference."
To remedy the situation, Dean said the Oklahoma Tax Commission partnered with Oklahoma State University's Center for Local Government Technology to present a virtual educational conference with a focus on the mandatory training. The two-day online event, he said, will include continuing education topics such as data collection, administration of personal property assessment, mapping, visual inspection and marijuana facility valuation.
Dean said the tax commission typically would provide those classes and others during a two-day seminar, but it was canceled like the other conferences and seminars that were scheduled to take place after March. The virtual training, he said, will provide all the mandatory training required for the year and "could save the county a bunch of money" because there will be no transportation or lodging costs.
"We strive as an office to continually learn so that we may serve Muskogee County better and more efficiently," Dean said. "This year we're going to have to close the office for a couple of days to get that done."
Dean said those who need to access property records may do so anytime online at the website that recently went live. The Muskogee County Assessor's website is at www.mapview-muskogee.com.