LES COOK BIOGRAPHY
Leslie “Les” Cook was elected without opposition on June 24, 2016 to continue as Citrus County’s 13th Property Appraiser for the term ending January 2021.
Les started his career with the Citrus County Property Appraiser’s office in April of 1980 as a field data surveyor and has held various positions over his 39-year career. Mr. Cook has represented four Property Appraisers during that span of time.
From March of 2002 to 2005 his responsibilities included directing the annual revaluation of all county real property. Since 2005, as Chief Deputy, Mr. Cook has been responsible for all facets of office operation.
Born in Richlands, Virginia, he spent most of his early life in New Castle, Delaware moving to Citrus County in 1980. Les and his wife Joan reside in Crystal River with their daughter Rebekah. They are active members of Gulf to Lake Church. He enjoys spending time with his family, kayaking the nature coast, reading and Tampa Bay Rays baseball.
His educational background includes, graduating from William Penn High School in New Castle DE in 1975. He earned his Associate in Arts Degree, with Liberal Studies in Business Administration from Goldey-Beacom College in 1977. He is a graduate of the Leadership Citrus class of 2005. His studies also include the Real Property Assessment US Course #831 12 120 hours from the University of British Columbia, the State Pre-licensing Course for Real Estate Appraisers (AB1-75 hours). In addition to seminars and workshops he has attended over 295 hours of appraisal and assessment related courses administrated by the International Association of Assessing Officers including The Standards of Practice and Professional Ethics Workshop.
Mr. Cook has held a Certified Florida Evaluator (CFE) designation from the Department of Revenue since 1984 and a Certified Florida Appraiser (CFA) designation since January, 2014. He is also licensed by the State of Florida as a Real Estate Salesperson. (Current status of license is inactive.)
In 2004 he qualified and testified as an expert witness in Federal court in the successful prosecution of defendants participating in an elaborate land scam that fleeced an estimated $30 million from more than 1,300 people in Florida (Citrus County) and 28 other states and the District of Columbia. Operating under the name Buyers Source, the company and its agents victimized more than 500 senior citizens.
Mr. Cook’s membership affiliations include an active membership with the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) and the Florida Chapter IAAO (FCIAAO). He was a Guardian ad litem and is a Florida Sheriff’s Association Honorary Lifetime Member.