Editor’s Note: This continues the Meet the Leaders profile series in The Alternative Press of South Plainfield. The objective is to provide our readers the opportunity to hear from South Plainfield’s leaders in government, public safety, commerce and other areas, regarding South Plainfield’s present and future outlook, their background and what they enjoy doing in their private life. In order to keep the format consistent, The Alternative Press presented each individual with the same five questions. We are publishing their answers unedited.
Meet the Leaders – Mary Frances Hildebrandt, Tax Assessor
I am a buckeye at heart. I grew up on the northern coast of Ohio with my mother Ruth, a homemaker and hospital volunteer, my father, Hugo, the owner of a family-owned business, and four brothers. The Lake Erie islands were my waterpark.
I attended Magnificat High School. After college at St. Mary’s, I moved to New York City. There, my favorite waterpark was Riverside. I walked by the river that did not freeze. Amazing. Water has surrounded me my whole life. Though living in Jersey, I manage to pass by the shore every summer to be in my natural environment. After all, I am a Pisces!
I am a college graduate holding a Bachelor of Arts degree. In addition, I hold a Tax Assessor Certificate and a Real Estate license. My education in valuing commercial and residential property is continuous. I learn every day at my job.
What inspired you to pursue a role in Tax Assessing?
I have always been intrigued by the challenges of property valuation. To this day, one of the long-standing American dreams of home ownership remains a sought-after goal by many. I was drawn to South Plainfield’s Spring Lake and the opportunity to further develop my expertise as a tax assessor.
What are the biggest opportunities and challenges facing South Plainfield today?
A challenge facing South Plainfield today is the increase in property values, while still being affordable. It is difficult to maintain the balance of accurate property valuations, while keeping expenses down, especially for individuals who look to raise a family.
What are the top priorities on your “to do list” as Tax Assessor?
My top priority as a tax assessor is to maintain the ratable base, which is the total value of all commercial and residential real estate. It is one of my top priorities. I aim to serve and help the residents of South Plainfield understand the complexities of assessing property values.
When you are not being the Tax Assessor, what do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I enjoy running, cycling, gardening, and travelling. This past summer my wife, teenage daughter, and I traveled to Ireland. The water surrounding the island was beautiful.
Five words that describe South Plainfield: Friendly, community, generations, diverse, and strong.