Posts tagged ‘Peter Van Nortwick’

October 17, 2014

From “Attack Dog” to Respected Official

by lewwaters

Dollar Sign 2This time four years ago, our local newspaper of record pulled out all of the stops in their effort to smear and denigrate then County Assessor candidate, Peter Van Nortwick. They spared little ink accusing him of engaging in “attack dog campaigning” which he masterfully turned around on them, walking through the Hazel Dell Parade of Bands blaring out the song, “Who Let The Dogs Out.”

Editor ‘Lefty’ Lou Brancaccio went after him over a past divorce accusing him of not being able to get along with others.

The Lazy C even tried tying him to then private citizen, now County Commissioner David Madore as well as the much hated State Senator from the 17th district, Republican Don Benton.

Their efforts failed and Peter Van Nortwick easily sailed to victory by a 5% margin, over 6,500 votes.

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September 20, 2014

2014 Election Predictions

by lewwaters

Voting boothI usually shy away from predicting the outcome of elections, but decided I’d throw my two cents in concerning the Clark County, Washington elections in November. It’s a bit early, yes and predictions are subject to change as information comes available. But this initial post will indicate how I see the outcome of the elections.

A disclaimer of sorts, these predictions are solely based on how I see the current information and read the current political tea leaves and are by no means infallible. They also may not be how I would personally like to see a race come out, but are how I view the reality of it.

First, apologies to the people in the 14th and 20th Legislative Districts. Your districts cross county lines and I simply do not have access to other counties at this time, so I am unable to predict how those races will go.

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December 15, 2010

Clark County Commissioners to Turn Down Wage and Car Allowance Increase

by lewwaters

No doubt reacting to a public outrage rarely seen today, all 3 County Commissioners, Steve Stuart, Marc Boldt and Tom Mielke have announced today that they will not accept the scheduled wage and car allowance increase mentioned HERE

The Columbian has the announcement HERE

Of note, after the increase was announced yesterday, over 100 comments have been posted on the papers website. Not one in support of the increase.

Citizens from all over the political spectrum, usually disagreeing on everything, came together in opposition and from what I hear, the county commissioners phone lines were lit up all day.

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October 11, 2010

Janet Seekins, County Assessor Candidate is Just Now Registering to Vote?

by lewwaters

Janet Seekins, 53 year-old Democrat candidate for Clark County Assessor has opened her eyes and finally realized she should take part in the very political process she decided to be part of back in June. The 30-year employee of the Assessor’s office has finally decided to join the rest of us in the voting booth (mail-in for us) by finally registering to vote this past April and announcing it Friday, October 8, 2010.

Seekins states on her facebook page about her recent decision, “I hope you will join me in registering and voting this fall. It’s easy. It’s important, and it makes a difference.”

So important that a 53 year-old never bothered to participate before deciding to run for office herself?

Explaining why, Seekins states, “Before this year, like many individuals, I was consumed with the responsibilities and commitments of family and friends. It seemed like there weren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. I never followed politics and neglected to register to vote. But this year, something different happened: I felt the need to step up and run for political office.”

Am I correct in assuming that had she “not felt the need to run for office,” she most likely still would not be bothered to take part in what she only now sees as “important, and it makes a difference?”

Who amongst us hasn’t had a life “consumed with the responsibilities and commitments of family and friends,” yet made the effort to exercise our free will by casting votes for candidates and measures that affect our everyday life?

I wonder too, what triggered this sudden revelation after decades of never following politics or registering to vote? Did she receive an epiphany suddenly or did her campaign manager wake her up?

The Columbian has embraced Janet Seekins over her Republican opponent, Peter Van Nortwick and endorsed her for office. Little doubt they had no clue they were choosing someone who had never bothered to vote, even though they say of Janet, “Her lack of management experience has been offset by an effective performance in her first political campaign.”

Uh, what is “effective” when you are the only Democrat running out of a field of 4, the other 3 all being Republican?

And, I’d lay odds that all 3 of the Republicans have been registered to vote for some time now.

Little doubt the Columbian will run some sort of damage control over this oversight of their chosen candidate for County Assessor. But to me, it shows me a person who doesn’t take responsibility very serious. And, when it comes to assessing our properties for tax purposes, we need someone who is responsible and serious about the job and their part in it.

We need someone who has effective management skills go beyond collecting more votes than 3 individuals, whose combined vote tally outnumber hers.

Above all, we need someone who isn’t so easily distracted that they just don’t pay attention to the community until they decide to run for political office.

The Columbian has never hidden their disdain for Peter Van Nortwick, but he takes responsibility, has the management skills and pays attention to the community.

Oh, and he’s voted before now too.

The Columbian can run whatever damage control they desire, my vote will remain for Peter Van Nortwick.

August 31, 2010

Peter Van Nortwick’s Campaign Ad

by lewwaters

On facebook, Peter calls it “the cheesiest campaign ad ever.” I think it is sort of cute and gets to the point.

You got my vote in the primary, Pete and you’ll keep it.

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 14, 2010

Peter Van Nortwick Releases “Taxpayer Bill of Rights”

by lewwaters

Peter Van Nortwick, Candidate for County Tax Assessor, has issued his “Tax Payer Bill of Rights” that he will strive to implement as our next County Assessor.

Property Tax Payer Bill of Rights

As your Assessor, I will work hard with your State Representatives and Senators to enact my Property Tax Payers Bill of Rights.

1. The Burden Of Proof Belongs to The County.

I join Commissioners Tom Mielke and Marc Boldt in calling for the burden of proof in appeals to be shifted from the land owner to the Assessor’s office. Currently during an appeal, the Assessor’s office is presumed to be right and the homeowner must bring evidence in to prove otherwise. Do you trust your government to be right?

2. Property Taxes From Government Land Purchases May Not Be Shifted.

When you buy land, you are responsible for the property taxes on the land. The Government should be no different. Instead when the government buys a piece of property the taxes are shifted to the other land owners in the taxing district pushing up property taxes. This practice threatens our rural communities.

3. Property Owners Must Be Notified of Impacts Prior to Zoning Changes.

Homeowners should never find out their property has been rezoned by seeing their assessed values jump. The entity changing the zoning, in conjunction with the Assessor’s office, should inform the home owner of the property tax implications of a zoning change. They must give impacted citizens time to appeal the zoning changes.

4. Government Projects Must Address Impacts on Home Value.

Whether it is BPA or the Columbia River Crossing, any major government project should address the impact on home values. Higher towers and bridge tolls will have an impact on our home values. It is time that the government specifically addresses the impact so citizens can make informed decisions.

5. Right of Farmers to Retire on Their Land.

The tax laws make it very difficult for farmers to retire on their land. Currently, if a farmer takes their land out of agricultural status they owe years of back taxes within 30 days! A farmer of retirement age should be able to continue living on his or her land. The family farm deserves protection.

Van Nortwick For Assessor

County Assessor is one of those elected offices that too many of us often ignore, paying attention to legislators, mayors and such. Peter has been reminding us of the importance of this job to maintain a fair level of revenues, not over taxing or under taxing anyone.

This isn’t a job just for anyone, but requires a skilled and trained professional. Trained in proper accounting and with the ability to oversee and properly manage a department that is currently being faced with budget decreases, as are others.

As much as any elected office, the office of County Assessor is a very important one and I invite you to learn more about Peter Van Nortwick, Republican for Clark County Assessor

January 4, 2010

Hope N Change At The County Assessors Office?

by lewwaters

Incumbent Clark County Assessor Linda Franklin, a Democrat first elected in 2002, is coming under fire from challenger, Salmon Creek property appraiser and Certified General Appraiser Peter Van Nortwick, running as a Republican.

Clark County Conservative posted Van Nortwick’s intention of running to replace Franklin this past August at Peter Van Nortwick To Run For County Assessor.

The Columbian published a back and forth between Franklin and Van Nortwick today, January 4, 2010 under the headline, Challenger slams county assessor’s performance.

I encourage you all to read the Columbian’s article.

County Assessor is one of those races that we voters tend to easily overlook, opting for “more important” races such as Senators, Representatives, Mayors and such. We as voters should begin paying attention to what we often view as “lesser races,” such as this one.

It is our money, our property taxes paid on our homes that hang in the balance and we need to have an efficient and trustworthy Assessor on the job. We homeowners may not like paying taxes, but we swallow it as we do other home expenses and deserve to be charged a fair amount, not overcharged to make-up budget shortfalls, especially in this protracted recession we are currently weathering.

Van Nortwick makes some pretty serious charges against the Assessors Office and I must say, Ms. Franklin’s defense comes across pretty lame.

In charging Ms. Franklin of bungling a software update, Van Nortwick says, “My background is in business. When you switch systems, you run two systems next to each other, so you can make the switch over.”

Ms. Franklin makes the excuse of, “It’s very expensive to have all the work being done twice. If he were a business person with an actual staff, he would understand that.”

Yet, Ms. Franklin claims she “was a computer systems analyst, and an instructor at Clark College” before hiring into the Assessors Office.

I would think someone laying claim to such a computer background could properly make a software update without so many mistakes.

The late appraisals many received were due to that software update Ms. Franklin speaks of. She says, “It’s not unusual to be late with assessments. It happens when you’re dealing with software. … Staff is doing the very best they can.”

Of course, we also hear of budget cuts, but can the cuts made to the Assessor’s Office be any worse than the cuts in salary or work hours many of us homeowners have received this past year?

Do our mortgage companies accept many late payments and not charge us late fees or foreclose on our homes?

Interesting enough, back in November 2009, 3 people were cut from the Assessors Office staff. Is it coincidence that 2 of those cut had previously run against Linda Franklin for County Assessor?

Rumor has it that the third person cut was critical of Ms. Franklin’s management of the Assessor’s Office.

I recall how fast our property was reappraised as the housing bubble grew. I don’t know about your property, but mine hasn’t been coming down quite as fast since the bubble burst.

My sister and I own a building lot in Central Florida that was quickly reappraised and our taxes on that property adjusted to a fairer level.

Also blamed on “software delays,” a mistaken estimate affecting Clark County Fire and Rescue. Her Office calculated that Clark County Fire and Rescue wouldn’t have to make any cuts, leading to a week of confusion and resulting in the lay-off of 23 employees from the fire agency covering Ridgefield, La Center and Battle Ground addresses.

Of this “mistake,” Ms. Franklin says, “It was an honest mistake by one of [my] staff.”

She also adds that she “feels really bad for the people who were personally affected by it.”

Van Nortwick charges that some 85% of homes in Clark County are unfairly assessed.

Ms. Franklin counters that her office “ranked among the 10 most accurate on all measures in 2008.”

Van Nortwick says he can still make it better, citing, “How could it be, when you’re properly mass appraising, that you have these huge variations?”

As I said early on, this is one of the races that don’t usually draw much attention from voters, many just marking a name on the ballot with little or no information on the person.

Maybe it is time we started paying more attention to these “lesser elections” and instituted some of that “Hope N Change” that was so prevalently mentioned in 2008.

September 20, 2009

Benton Endorses Castillo, Russell Outlines Campaign

by lewwaters

Saturday saw the quarterly Clark County Republican Party Central Committee Meeting called to order at Club Green Meadows by Party Chair, Ryan Hart. Those in attendance were to be treated to a very good meeting and receipt of much information that was not only interesting but also relevant to Clark County.

State Senator for the 17th Legislative District Don Benton made an appearance telling of progress made for Republicans in the State Senate and announcing his endorsement of David Castillo for the Third Congressional District Representative, the seat currently held by Democrat Brian Baird.

Of interest was his noting that Baird had claimed he supported term limits of 12 years and as 2010 will be Baird’s 12th year, will he remain true to his word. Baird is said to have answered, when asked about that, “we’ll let the voters decide,” showing he is not thinking of remaining true to his word.

Chairman Hart announced that in addition to columnist Michelle Malkin speaking at the 2010 Washington State GOP convention to be held here in Clark County, former Massachusetts Governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney has also been signed up to speak.

Sean Salazar was present and gave a very motivated speech in regards his candidacy against US Senator Patty Murray, outlining his desire to return to conservative values that have built America and telling all the conservative message needs taken to those who like us least as they have been misinformed about conservatism and many discover their values are what we share.

He congratulated Clark County on the work and growth of the Republican Party but acknowledged the counties in the Puget Sound area have been lacking and it is they who have been holding back the conservative message in Washington.

Craig Williams, also hoping to unseat Murray, was present and outlined his visions and experience for the office and his candidacy in his own speech to all.

Brian Peck, candidate for 17th District Representative announced the launching of his campaign to be held September 25 2009 at an event to be held at the Cameo Café located at Club Green Meadows at 7 PM. Special guest will be Portland Oregon radio host Lars Larson. More information may be found at Elect Brian Peck.

Lisa Schmidt, a member of the Clark GOP Executive Board announced launching of our new party slogan, “Be The Party,” an effort to remind Clark County residents that they are the party, not just PCO’s and Board Members.

Also speaking was candidate Peter Van Nortwick, running for Clark County Assessor, a seat now held for quite some time by Linda Franklin. Van Nortwick, himself a Certified General Assessor outlined how Clark County Properties are often over assessed and how tools and technology available to give fair assessment are currently not in use.

Bill Turlay spoke of his candidacy for Vancouver City Council and how tolls proposed for a replacement bridge over the Columbia River will place an unfair financial load on Clark County residents who work in Portland while leaving Portland residents paying for very little of any proposed replacement bridge.

Bill Turlay is a man the Vancouver City Council needs. More on Bill coming in the future.

Brent Boger introduced a resolution expressing our displeasure at Brian Baird hypocritically voting to censure S.C. Rep. Joe Wilson for his own inappropriate outburst at Barack Obama after Baird’s own inappropriate comments towards constituents over the summer.

Baird stated often that he had apologized for his comments, considering the matter closed, yet condemned Wilson even after he personally apologized to Obama and the apology was accepted.

The resolution was adopted unanimously.

Clark County’s own Jon Russell spoke late in the meeting announcing his campaign of “Actions Speak Louder Than Words.”

He spoke of his experience on the Washougal City Council and his clinics, soon opening a second clinic. He outlined the success of the clinics by relying on charitable organizations and churches instead of government. He stated his preference for term limits, vowing to only serve 6 years, should he be elected.

Uncalled for in his speech was a subtle but obvious slap towards David Castillo when he said words to the effect of any candidate can speak of work in the government that may have done and that he was the only candidate to make the effort to speak at the Tax protest held in Olympia September 12.

David was in Washington D.C. on that particular day.

I hope Jon’s campaign will rely more on his positives than trying to tear down other Republicans running for the same seat.

In all we had a very informative meeting as the Clark County GOP is growing in a positive direction under the chairmanship and visions of Ryan Hart.

My apologies to any I may have skipped over, but the meeting was very active and many gave information very relevant to all.

2010 is shaping up to be a very active year and a good year to be Republican. Information on upcoming events and ongoing programs to better Clark County may be found at Clark County GOP.

Remember, Clark County, “Be The Party.”