Running for office: Ascension Parish assessor _lowres

Mert Smiley

M.J. “Mert” Smiley Jr. is seeking re-election as Ascension Parish assessor.

Smiley said that since taking office, he has been in charge of several improvements.

Smiley said his office has scanned all paper files to provide internal electronic access and record retention; worked with elected officials to receive Web-based building permit reports; and provided free online maps to residents.

He said his office was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for 2013 by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

“I am pleased by these achievements made in one term, but in no way satisfied,” he said. In less than three years, Smiley said, the Assessor’s Office eliminated more than 3,000 multiple homestead exemptions and placed over 6,000 uncounted improvements on the tax rolls.

Smiley, 63, a Republican, is a member of the Rotary Club of East Ascension, Ascension Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus, St. Amant Booster Club, East Ascension Sportsman League, National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited, Harley Owners Group ABATE of Louisiana and Gonzales Lions Club.

In 2003, Smiley was elected to the Louisiana Legislature and served two terms before being elected assessor.

Smiley, an Ascension Parish native, graduated from East Ascension High School and married Ina Hedberg Smiley 42 years ago. They live in Lake and attend Holy Rosary Catholic Church.