Archive for July 23rd, 2010

July 23, 2010

In My View: the Columbian Misses It On County Assessor Endorsement

by lewwaters

The Columbian has begun their slate of political endorsements as we continue getting closer to the August 17 primary election. As always, there will be agreements and disagreements over who they choose. But, their choices for the County Assessor office misses by a mile, much more than just a disagreement.

The Columbian has published, In Our View: Horowitz, Weaver, Two strong candidates emerge in primary for county assessor’s post.

Well, I guess I can agree with “candidates,” but strong? How so? How can Peter Van Nortwick not even receive consideration when he is the only candidate for the office who has issued a “Property Tax Payers Bill of Rights” and has been beating the Columbian to the punch on pointing out current problems in the County Assessor’s office?

Maybe a hint of why can be seen when they tried to marginalize Peter receiving the co-endorsement of Mayor Tim Leavitt, hinting that Leavitt may co-endorse him, but that doesn’t mean they he will vote for him.

No mention that possibly Leavitt might not vote for his old friend, David Horowitz who he also co-endorsed. Only Leavitt will know and he is the only person entitled to know how he will vote. Idle speculation as this has no place in legitimate journalism.

No mention either that Van Nortwick received the endorsements of Clark County Commissioners Tom Mielke and Marc Boldt, Battle Ground Mayor Ciraulo, Ray Garza-SW Washington Hispanic Republicans, Bill Jameson- Former Candidate Clark County Assessor, Senator Don Benton, Senator Joe Zarelli, the Washington State Farm Bureau and the Building Industry Association, to mention just a few.

David Horowitz and Daniel Weaver are no doubt decent fellows, but does that qualify them over Peter, also a decent fellow, for the office that the Columbian says, “The chief role of the Clark County assessor is not to assess or appraise property value but to manage a department that does.”

By the Columbian’s account, Horowitz, 64, is a “Real Estate Specialist and retired CPA” that said “he’s had an ongoing dispute over an assessed property value.”

Daniel Weaver, 64, although with a background in accounting, is also retired.

Neither has a background in appraisal and I find it odd that the Columbian wrote, “So it is important to have a county assessor with a solid management background and a full understanding of the duties.”

I don’t know about you, but I sure wouldn’t want an Auto Dealer Service Manager running the Hospital, just because his shop once serviced ambulances.

Peter Van Nortwick is a “Certified General Appraiser, the highest level of appraiser and is the Managing Partner of American Commercial and Residential Appraisal. His appraisal experience includes residential, commercial, recreational and agricultural appraisals. He has experience appraising properties worth tens of millions of dollars and providing expert witness testimony. He is also an FHA appraiser, a member of the Clark County Association of Realtors and The Appraisal Institute.”

He has run an aggressive campaign not only pointing out the many problems currently beset with the County Assessor’s office, but offering solutions.

Many might be having their property under-appraised and think that is a good thing, but it isn’t. Others may be receiving over appraisals on their property, which obviously isn’t good.

None of us like taxes but realize they are a necessary evil. Therefore, they must be fair across the board. If too many are under appraised, other taxes must go up to make up the difference.

Over appraised and taxpayers end up leaving and going elsewhere, not to mention being overcharged.

Peter Van Nortwick has shown he has the qualifications and willingness to properly and fairly assess our property so the taxes levied will fair to all.

As I said, Horowitz and Weaver, both retired now, might be decent fellows, but we need new blood and fresh ideas down at the Assessors Office. By all accounts, the Assessors office is a mess currently and it will take someone with knowledge of appraising coming in from outside the department to pull the office back together.

You may watch the candidates of this race and others debate here at CVTV

I trust Peter Van Nortwick, Republican, to be who best will correct the problems at the Clark County Assessors Office.

July 23, 2010

Seattle Times Endorses Castillo & Heck, Ignores Herrera & Hedrick

by lewwaters

A stinging announcement today that must worry the Herrera camp as the Seattle Times, one of the larger newspapers in Washington State, issued an endorsement of Republican David Castillo and Democrat Denny Heck as “the primary picks in the 3rd Congressional District” in the upcoming August 17 primary election.

Denny Heck and David Castillo the primary picks in the 3rd Congressional District

The Times says in part,

“Whoever represents Southwest Washington in Congress must be an independent thinker willing to buck his or her political party. With that in mind, The Seattle Times endorses Denny Heck, Democrat, and David Castillo, Republican, to advance to the general election.”

“Both have worked in the public and private sectors and have a strong grasp of the challenges facing the district, most notably its unacceptably high unemployment rate. Both appear creative enough to tackle tough issues from an independent vantage point.”

“The need for jobs and an improved economy overshadow most other issues. Heck touts the need to proceed with a new Columbia River crossing as an economic stimulator and the need to keep Washington ports humming. Castillo emphasizes the needs to improve infrastructure, including flood areas along Interstate 5, and create enterprise zones to help economically distressed counties.”

Herrera, the establishment candidate has billed herself as the front-runner since her rapid entry into the race, less than 2 hours after retiring Brian Baird announced his retirement. As the GOP machine lined up behind her, abandoning other candidates with more experience and better resumes’ campaign donations flowed into her campaign, although she has trouble taking a definitive stand on issues and is often vague and general in answering voters questions asked of her.

Recently, Clark County Conservative compiled a list of quotes showing that Ms. Herrera has not been being very honest with voters in the 3rd Congressional District.

Jaime Herrera Says, “Trust Me”

Viewing her self as “the chosen,” “the anointed” to represent the GOP, missing such an endorsement has to sting, but obviously the Seattle Times editorial board saw through her façade.

David Hedrick, who gained cyber fame for a 3-minute confrontation with Baird in August 2009, and never wishing to discuss how Baird ambushed him when he tried it a second time, has been making noise, but has not been too ready to discuss his Marine service, although he has made that service central to his campaign by labeling himself “Marine Corporal” in every release or forum he attends.

Calls for clarification either go ignored or have resulted in claims of “Classified” in the past, automatically raising red flags to any Veteran who served in a combat zone.

In spite of facebook claims of how superior he is to all others, Hedrick too is often vague in replies or issues forth warmed over 2008 Ron Paul talking points, at times hiding behind the constitution as if his interpretation merits more attention that constitutional lawyers and scholars.

His fund raising ability has been abysmal.

I have maintained for some time now that the race to replace Brian Baird should be between Castillo and Heck.

Both men are personable, approachable and whether you agree with their views or not, they are the only two who consistently stand and express specifics in their views and ideas for the country and the 3rd Congressional District.

Heck “was elected to five terms in the state House of Representatives. He served as House Majority Leader, and later, as chief of staff to Gov. Booth Gardner. Heck was an early investor in RealNetworks, a digital-entertainment company, and co-founded TVW, the C-SPAN of Washington State.”

Castillo service in the United States Navy and after having a business fail in the dot com meltdown years ago, liquidated and rebuilt, becoming eventually a sub-cabinet level position in The Department of Veterans Affairs and at the Department of Homeland Security during the Bush administration.

Both men have resume’s the others can only dream about.

Clark County Conservative, while issuing no official endorsements, has been in support of Castillo since shortly after he began campaigning, expecting a tough run against Baird.

Although I do not support Denny Heck, a face to face chat with him earned my respect for the man.

The Seattle Times says it all with, “Voters would be wise to pick Heck and Castillo to clarify their strengths and weaknesses in the general election.”