By Cameron Rasmusson
With the housing market booming in Bonner County, the county assessor will have an important role to play in overseeing data and information related to county property.
This year, voters have two choices in selecting a county assessor: Donna Gow and Wendel Bergman. Whoever emerges victorious in the race will have the responsibility keep accurate records of county properties, including changes in ownership, mapped boundaries and property characteristics and any exemptions that may apply. The assessor’s office also manages the Bonner County Department of Motor Vehicles.
While the election requires a party affiliation — Gow is running as a Republican and Bergman as an independent —both candidates say there’s nothing partisan about how the assessor goes about his or her business. Instead, both say that the office should be run with an approach that stresses efficiency, thoroughness and accuracy.
There are no Democratic candidates running in the county assessor race.
Gow cites her 28 years of experience in the Bonner County Assessor’s Office as her primary qualification to take the reins. During that time, she has appraised residential, mobile and manufactured homes, condominiums and commercial and industrial properties and learned managerial styles from five different assessors.
“Throughout my years in the Assessor’s Office, I have worked with the State Tax Commission, other assessor’s offices, fee appraisers, title companies, Realtors and the public, so I am able to run the office on day one,” she said.
Bergman built his career in IBM before moving to North Idaho to work in real estate development and management. He believes his experience managing multiple employees, plan budgets and set and achieve goals gives him the skills he need to improve the assessor’s office’s customer service, upgrade its technology and augment its efficiency.
“The office of assessor needs to be managed by an experienced manager with multiple talents,” Bergman said. “That manager should depend upon and respect the capabilities of his or her employees and specialists to ensure that the team works together to accomplish the common goal of serving the public efficiently, fairly and respectfully.”
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