Republicans to pick assessor candidate |

Republicans to pick assessor candidate

Scott N. Miller

EAGLE COUNTY ” Tuesday is a big day in the Eagle County Assessor’s office.

That’s when the county’s Republicans will decide whether to put incumbent Assessor Joyce Mack up for reelection or if they’ll back a new candidate in November.

Mack has been challenged in Tuesday’s party primary by Ed Smith, a longtime employee of the Assessor’s Office. Whoever wins the primary will face Democrat Mark Chapin in the November general election.

The Assessor’s Office determines the value of property in the county. Those values are then used by the county, school district and other governments to determine the taxes paid on homes and vacant land.

Before the primary, both Smith and Mack were asked two questions by e–mail:

– What, if anything, has surprised you while campaigning this summer?

– Has talking to voters prompted you to change your position on any issues?

Here are their answers

Age: 57

Married to: Gerald Eggen

Professional achievements: Graduate of the Rocky Mountain Leadership Program through the University of Colorado; Appointed to the International Association of Assessing Officers, Colorado Assessor’s Association, and the Colorado Association for Taxing Appraisers

1) As your Eagle County Assessor, I have and will continue to effect positive change. I represent the citizens of Eagle County, not the bureaucracy. I place great emphasis on continuing to improve customer service through the use of technology, two-way communication and education.

Many positives have taken place under my administration, including:

– 46 percent reduction in appeals

– Innovative changes to the county Web site

– A TV series overviewing the Assessor’s Office

– Enhancements to the Property Assessment And Tax Information System

In addition, I was selected to serve as a state representative to the International Association of Assessing Officers. I am committed ” to the citizens, to my county and to the Assessor’s Office. I serve, and will continue to serve my community well.

2) I appreciate the positive feedback from my constituents and therefore feel my qualifications speak for themselves. I look forward to continuing my service to my community.

Age: 60

Married to: Sharyn, since 1969

Kids: Two daughters and one granddaughter

Occupation: Commercial property real estate appraiser, Eagle County Assessor’s Office

Public service: Working 19 years in the Assessor’s Office, membership in the local Lion’s Club and the American Cancer Society.

1) I was surprised by the tremendous support of the employees of the Assessor’s Office. I knew that I had the support of a few of the staff members, but until this summer’s parades when three-quarters of the staff walked in at least one parade with me, I had no idea the amount of support I had from the people I work with.

2) Listening to voters expressing their concerns about the Assessor’s Office has only reinforced my decision to run for Eagle County Assessor as the correct decision.

Voters want an assessor who is accessible with an ability to answer their questions. My understanding of the laws and regulations that govern the Assessor’s Office and the ability to apply that knowledge gained in the past 19 years working in the assessor’s office has prepared me to meet the challenges as assessor.

Experience does count. By assembling, training, and retaining a competent staff by providing the necessary equipment, leadership, and respect, I can lead an Assessor’s Office that serves citizens in the manner the Eagle County voters want.

Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or

Vail Daily, Vail Colorado

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