Lee: Grateful for campaign experience

As a first-time candidate for elected office, I was filled with anticipation on election night. When the results started to come in and I was not among the apparent winners, it was comforting to be surrounded by great supportive people.

Not being one to linger in disappointment I am pleased to offer my congratulations to Patrick Sullivan for treasurer-tax collector, Charise Reynolds for Middletown School Board and Susan Krones for district attorney.

On Wednesday, I called Rich Ford to congratulate him as well. Although the final election results won’t be out until the Registrar of Voters Office completes the process and certifies the election, he is leading by a sizable margin for his reelection as assessor-recorder; it is highly unlikely the results will change much.

Making Lake County a place of prosperity through continuous self-examination, process improvement and accountability rests squarely on his shoulders. I wish him well.

As for me, I end my campaign for elected office as I began, with gratitude and appreciation to everyone who encouraged and believed in me — my campaign team, endorsers, everyone who donated time or money, those of you who cast a vote in my favor and my fiancé who supported me 100%. It was an experience of a lifetime.

It was never in my calculus to run for elected office. I ran because I was asked by business and community leaders and because I was convinced I could make a difference.

As I look back over the last few months, I believe that I did make a positive difference by calling attention to the importance of the assessor-recorder operations.

Friends are asking if it was worth the time and energy it took to run for assessor-recorder. My response? A resounding yes. I have learned so much, met so many people dedicated to the beautiful place we all call home, and established wonderful relationships I will cherish.

At the core of public service is an important premise I have always operated under: The people served are the boss — they essentially sign our paychecks. It behooves those of us who go into public service to listen to their feedback, address their interests and treat them with respect.

I did my best and I hope, in some small way, the path for better communication, improved services, transparency and especially for meaningful change in the Assessor-Recorder’s Office has been widened.

Hannah Faith Lee lives in Kelseyville, California.