Election 2010: Nevada Co. Assessor candidate Sue Horne talks economy
TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Long-time Nevada County resident and public servant Sue Horne has set her sights on a new office and#8212; assessor.
Horne, a former county supervisor, is running against Rolf Kleinhans for the assessorand#8217;s seat and#8212; a post that has gotten attention from other would-be candidates such as Supervisor Ted Owens and James Blashford (both of whom have bowed out) after Assessor Dale Flippin resigned last year.
She chalked up the interest, both general and hers, to the critical role the assessor will play in the current economy.
and#8220;The assessorand#8217;s office is seeing an increasing workload under a diminishing budget,and#8221; said Horne during a Wednesday interview at the Sierra Sun. and#8220;Iand#8217;m really the only candidate that has executive management experience in our local government.and#8221;
Horne served on the board of supervisors from 2001 to 2008, with six years on the budget and/or audit oversight committees, she said, and put top priority on fiscal responsibility.
Now, the countyand#8217;s revenue is going down, but requests for property value audits from people wanting lower property taxes is up to about 8,300 and#8212; almost 20 percent of all homes in Nevada County, she said.
That puts the assessorand#8217;s office between citizens who want to pay less taxes and a government that is losing that revenue.
and#8220;There are three constitutional offices at the local level and#8212; the sheriff, district attorney, and the assessor,and#8221; Horne said. and#8220;The reason the assessor is a constitutional office is theyand#8217;re accountable to the citizens and#8212; to the voters and#8212; separate from the influence from government bodies it provides revenue to.and#8221;
Truckeeand#8217;s particularly fast climb and descent in the real estate market makes the assessorand#8217;s position important locally, Horne said.
and#8220;Truckee has been the fastest growing area and#8212; when things were moving it was happening in Truckee,and#8221; Horne said. and#8220;The value of homes have been much higher and those property owners are going to be very intent on making sure theyand#8217;re valued accurately.and#8221;
The assessorand#8217;s decisions will also affect the Town of Truckee, which gets 10 percent of the property tax for its own revenue, she said.
Horne said sheand#8217;s also interested in replacing the 25-year-old software used in the assessorand#8217;s office, which she said is archaic.
and#8220;That system is very costly and very inefficient,and#8221; Horne said.
Also, since the assessorand#8217;s office staff has shrunk, Horne said she has plans for using their office more efficiently too.
and#8220;Being very sensitive to the difficult budget time, I would reduce my salary, if elected, by 5 percent, which I would return back to the county for other vital services,and#8221; Horne said.
According to http://www.mynevadacounty.com the assessorand#8217;s salary for the 2009-10 fiscal year is $123,065.40.