Skip to content

Novak, Parson vying for county assessor

Mark Novak

Joshua Parson










Voters have two choices on the Republican ballot for Marion County Assessor in this Tuesday’s Primary Election.

Joshua Parson, of Palmyra, is challenging the incumbent, Mark J. Novak, of Hannibal, for the countywide office. The winner will have no opposition in November.

Both candidates filled out a candidate survey submitted to them by the Palmyra Spectator.

The following are their responses.

Mark Novak



I grew up in northeast Iowa, 2.5 miles west of Spillville. I grew up milking Holstein dairy cows and raising feeder pigs for slaughter.

I went to Iowa Lakes Community College to fly airplanes. I received my private, commercial, instrument, and certified flight instructor while at Iowa Lakes, receiving an associate of arts degree and associate of science degree in aviation/airport management. 

I transferred to Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg. I continued my education and was a flight instructor for CMSU. 

I received my mUlti-engine rating and my certified flight instructor instrument so I could teach instruments to fly in cloudy weather, etc. 

I graduated from CMSU (now University of Central Missouri) with a bachelor of science degree in aviation technology and a minor in marketing. 

I am a licensed airline transport pilot, typed in a jet prop EMB-ll0 as captain (15 passenger) EMB-120 as captain (30 passenger and one flight attendant), Southwest Airlines’ program and typed in a Boeing 737. I am retired from Northwest Airlines as a commercial pilot on their Boeing 727 (150 passengers and three flight attendants) as a flight engineer and first officer. I have over 9,000 flight hours as a pilot.

In Warrensburg I met Lisa Pagitt (from Hannibal) and 3.5 years later, July 22, 1989, we got married at Holy Family Catholic Church in Hannibal. We have six sons ages 21 to 30 years old.

I am very active in my Catholic faith, pro-life, Eucharistic Minister, Perpetual Adoration, Stewardship Council (Chairman), Christian retreats: Cursillo, Christ Renews His Parish (CHRP) and White House retreat in St. Louis.

When we moved to Hannibal in 1999, I took my first real estate appraiser classes in St. Louis. In 2000, I took classes for my real estate and brokers licenses. 

I continue to stay licensed as a realtor and continue to stay certified as a real estate appraiser through the State of Missouri and continuing education. 

I also take courses for being a Missouri assessor through the Assessor Association. I am owner/manager of Novak Properties (rental housing) organizations:

Chairman-(2012-2019)–Northeast Missouri Regional Assessors Association (including 18 counties);

Member-(2018-2019)–MO State Assessors Financial Review Committee;

Chairman-2020–Missouri State Assessors Financial Review Committee;

Member-(2015-2019) Appraiser Designation Standards Committee through Missouri State Assessors Association (MSAA); and

Co-Chairman-(2020 to present) MSAA Education committee.

Why are you 


I am the current assessor since elected in 2008. I feel in this particular profession, Marion County deserves to have an assessor who is certified as an appraiser and not just state minimums, just as you would want a pilot who is licensed and certified to fly a plane with passengers.

I would continue to do my job above standards as I have done in the past.

Are there important issues that need to be addressed?

1. The need for new aerial imagery for the county per our contract with Eagleview (pictometry).

2. The need for more staff in my office (2007-10 employees including the assessor; 2020- six employees including the Assessor)

3. Continued cyber security as we currently have in place.

Joshua Parson

Biographical background:

I’m not originally from this area. I have lived in Marion County for the past 10 years. I moved to Palmyra about three years ago after living in Hannibal for about seven years. 

I have a bachelor degree in Biblical studies and currently serve the Lord at Mission Hill Baptist Church as the youth pastor. 

I am most commonly recognized from also currently working at Walmart as a customer service manager. 

I grew up in the big city of Louisville, Ky., but I love the smaller, friendlier towns of Palmyra and Hannibal more. I love driving down the street and waving hi to my neighbors as we pass by. 

Why are you 


I decided to run for public office for a couple of reasons. 

One I wanted to get more involved in the community in which I lived. Serving in a public office capacity would allow me to be involved and get to know better the great community I believe Marion County to be. 

I also thought that the people of this area should have a choice of who they could vote for, for this position. Last election my opponent ran as a member of a different party and unopposed, so to give another choice for the people I decided to run. 

Upon registration I learned that my opponent had switched parties, and we are now both on the ballot in the same Republican Party, and we welcome him to the party. 

I have not removed my name due to the fact I still believe people should have a choice of who to elect. 

What are the important issues that need to be addressed?

Currently I believe there is a lot of fear, anxiety and  frustration  facing our community due to this coronavirus. 

Scripture tells us “God hath not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2nd Timothy 1:7). 

I believe that if we act with love and concern one for another and some common sense thinking, we will be able to overcome our fears and help our communities in this county overcome this pandemic and be the better for it. 

What are other issues do you think are important?

Government is important for our communities, but with this pandemic I’ve seen many over- reach their power and authorities. 

We need officials who understand that they are not rulers over us, but official servants for us. 

Government’s responsibility is to take care of the people and to encourage good works in their community. That is why Paul in Romans 13 said to be subject to, and pay tribute. 

I don’t like the BIG government agenda and the wasteful spending. We the people should not have to pay more in taxes because tax money is not well managed. 

I’ve heard too many stories of government waste and cheating the system to obtain funding. This can be corrected  by officials who will be brave enough to recognize this dishonesty and waste and correct it.