Two finalists interview for Nevada County assessor job | SierraSun.com

Two finalists interview for Nevada County assessor job

Dave Moller
Sun News Service

Nevada County Supervisor Ted Owens and former Supervisor Sue Horne have not applied to be appointed interim assessor.

But Owens said Thursday he will run for the office in the June primary election, and Horne said she is still considering it.

Assessor Dale Flippin announced in November he would leave office at the end of this year. He was elected in 2006 for a term that will run out in January 2011.

Meanwhile, two men with lengthy experience in California assessor offices have applied to fulfill the last year of Flippin’s term. One of them said he would run in June if appointed.

One of them could be selected as the new assessor at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, according to the agenda. They are slated to be interviewed in open session during the meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. at Rood Administrative Center in Nevada City.

Finalists: Blashford and Dal Bon

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Jim Blashford, of Lake of the Pines, is the candidate who is looking to fill the assessor’s spot soon and#8249; and in the future.

Blashford has lived in the county for five years and has 19 years of experience in the Orange and Placer county assessor’s offices. The United

States Army Reserve major served 13 months in Afghanistan during 2007 and 2008.

and#8220;I’m at the point in my career where I’m ready to step it up and run an operation,and#8221; Blashford said. and#8220;It’s a terrific opportunity for me, and I’ll try to take advantage of it.

and#8220;If I get appointed, I’ll run,and#8221; Blashford added. and#8220;If I don’t get appointed, I probably won’t.

and#8220;The power of the incumbency will make it a lot easier to run,and#8221; Blashford said. and#8220;I’m a political unknown in the county, and I’d have an uphill battleand#8221; if not appointed.

Jim Dal Bon of Rough and Ready is the other interim applicant, but the former assessor-recorder of Marin County is only interested in helping the county through the rest of Flippin’s term.

and#8220;I’m not running, absolutely not,and#8221; in the June primary, Dal Bon said.

and#8220;I thought the staff needed someone to bring calm to the situation. There will be an election going on,and#8221; Dal Bon said. and#8220;I thought, with my background, I could serve the county.and#8221;

Dal Bon has served on the county’s assessment appeals board for 10 years and has been a member of the county’s treasury oversight committee. He also worked as an appraiser in the Nevada County Assessor’s office for six months in 1998 in another interim appointment.

The applicants were among three finalists who made the cut out of 10 who were screened by the county Human Resources department. Director Gayle Satchwell said she could not reveal the names of the applicants, including the third finalist, who withdrew.

and#8220;I can’t due to the confidentiality of our process,and#8221; Satchwell said. and#8220;People apply in confidence, and we keep that in confidence.and#8221;

Both Horne and Owens offered similar reasons for not applying for the interim spot, preferring to wait for the June election.

and#8220;I did not want to put my colleagues in that position, and I wouldn’t want them to do that either,and#8221; Owens said. and#8220;I will run in the election.and#8221;

and#8220;I wouldn’t want to put my colleagues in a bad position,and#8221; Horne said. and#8220;It smacks of cronyism and I need to run for the seat and get the support from voters,and#8221; instead.

and#8220;I’m still considering a run in the June primary, but I’ve made no final decision yet,and#8221; Horne said. and#8220;I’ll make my decision by the first of the year.and#8221; County Clerk-Recorder Gregory Diaz, who is in charge of elections, said recently he believes Owens would have to step down from his last three years as a supervisor if he wins the assessor race, because the offices are incompatible.

The assessor is the one of three elected county offices that must be filled under the California constitution, Diaz said. The other two are sheriff and district attorney.

Should Owens win, an interim supervisor could be appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The county also could call a special election to fill the void, or wait until the next election date.

County Treasurer-Tax Collector Christina Dabis also will leave office at the end of the year, with one year left in her term.

Restaurateur Bill Steele of the San Juan Ridge has announced he will run for the office next June, but won’t apply for the interim position.

and#8220;I think it should be picked by the people,and#8221; Steele said.

Tina Vernon of the County Executive Office will be suggested to the board as a replacement by Dabis, but said she may not apply for that interim spot.

and#8220;I’ll probably just wait and pull (election) papers in January,and#8221; Vernon said.

County Executive Officer Rick Haffey said the county will deal with the

Treasurer-Tax Collector’s situation in January.