Ascension Parish Assessor M.J. "Mert" Smiley was sworn into office for a second term at the Parish Courthouse in Gonzales on Jan. 4. by Judge Marilyn Lambert.

Ascension Parish Assessor M.J. "Mert" Smiley was sworn into office for a second term at the Parish Courthouse in Gonzales on Jan. 4. by Judge Marilyn Lambert.

"My goal when elected was to become the very best and most technically advanced assessors office in the state of Louisiana," Smiley said.

Smiley gave recognition to his staff, which he said helped the assessor's office win two awards during his first term. The first award he won during office was a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Finance Reporting in which the Ascension office was one of only two assessor's offices in the state to receive. The office was also received the Distinguished Assessment Jurisdiction Award, which has not been won by any other assessor in Louisiana.

"By winning these awards we are proving to our citizens that we are good stuarts of your tax dollars and that we have reached the goal of being the very best assessors office in the state of Louisiana," he said. "I pledge to the citizens of Ascension Parish that we will stay on the cutting edge of technology to preserve and improve the services of your assessors office."

Smiley also payed tribute to past assessors who paved the way in Ascension Parish. He recognized the family of the late Donaldsonville City Councilman Emile Spano, who passed away last year. Spano served as the Ascension Parish Assessor from 2003 to 2007.

"He was known for his keen and meticulous attention to detail throughout his career in private industry and public service," Smiley said.

A tribute of photos of the past assessors was unveiled inside the assessors office of the Ascension Parish Courthouse.