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LA County Assessor Hopeful Omar Haroon Charts ‘14 Campaign

LA County Assessor candidate Omar Haroon talks to Hews Media Group - Community Newspaper about his 2014 campaign. Photo by Randy Economy

LA County Assessor candidate Omar Haroon talks to Hews Media Group – Community Newspaper about his 2014 campaign. Photo by Randy Economy

By Brian Hews

For Omar Haroon, campaigning to become the next Assessor of Los Angeles County has already proved to being a balancing act between his full time day job as mid- level Appraiser/Deputy Assessor as well as raising three young children between the ages of two and five years old.

The 37 year old graduate of Santa Monica High School and UCLA has his sights set on replacing indicted Assessor John Noguez in the 2014 election.  The campaign has already attracted at least a half dozen other serious contenders that includes Deputy Assessor John “Lower Taxes” Loew, Deputy District Attorney John Morris, Businessman John Y. Wong and West Hollywood Councilman Jeffrey Prang.

“Having three young children has been a blessing, but it also puts life into proper perspective, especially now that I have decided to run for Assessor,” Haroon told Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper in an interview held recently in Cerritos.

Prior to his current position at the Assessor’s West Los Angeles Office, Haroon worked in the private sector that included the oversight of a hedge fund founded at Kenter Canyon Capital, LLC where he served as Managing Director.  Haroon also has a degree in Engineering from UCLA, and previously worked for a real estate firm for five years.

Haroon said that he was responsible for “spearheading the launch of multiple private investment funds” that included a “global wealth management operation.” Haroon said that he still manages an investment hedge fund “outside of my job working for the Assessor.”

“I understand both the private and public sector works, and hopefully I can bring this experience to the Assessor’s office if I am elected,” Haroon said.

Haroon, who said he makes around $40,000 per year in his job at the Assessor’s office claims that he was “hit hard by the Wall Street meltdown” around five years ago.  “I needed to start a new career path, so I decided to apply for a position with the Assessor’s office,” Haroon said.  “I needed to rethink my career path, and decided that working at the LA County Assessor’s office was a good opportunity.”

While working at the Assessor’s office during the past two years, Haroon said there is a “disconnect” inside the Assessor’s office when it comes to salary ranges for entry level appraisers.

If elected, he said he would push for a more “competitive pay scale” for entry level Appraisers.

“We have to be competitive when it comes to what we pay our Appraisers,” he said.  Haroon noted that entry-lever Appraisers in Orange and San Diego County earn $10,000 more per year than those in LA County.

“In San Diego and Orange County an entry level appraiser starts at $50,000.  We need to fix this issue here in our department,” he said.

Haroon said he did “not want to get into specifics” on how he would oversee and change the office.  “I will tell you one thing, this election and campaign has to be about how to take this office into a new direction.”

(Note: Haroon has a website at www.omarharoon.com).

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