Mielke endorses Van Nortwick, but will Franklin run?
Three Republicans have said they’ll run to unseat Clark County Assessor Linda Franklin, but will Franklin, a Democrat, even run? Franklin, who as The Columbian reported in March has been missing work due to medical issues she would not comment on, has not said whether she’s going to try for a third term.
Filing week is June 7-11.
Her top deputy said Friday Franklin was taking calls at home, but, as of Friday afternoon, Franklin had not returned messages left for her by e-mail and phone.
Franklin was the former assessor’s top deputy for 23 years before taking the top spot in 2002.
Bill Jameson, Peter Van Nortwick and Daniel Weaver have said they will run. According to the state Public Disclosure Commission, Van Nortwick has raised the most money, $7,673.
Clark County Commissioner Tom Mielke, a Republican, endorsed Van Nortwick on Wednesday. In a release issued by a private public relations firm on behalf of Van Nortwick, Mielke was quoted as saying, “The Assessor’s office has experienced huge budget increases in the past four years and has not been as transparent and accountable to the citizens of Clark County as it should have been. This is precisely why it is important to get a professional into the office and why I am endorsing Peter Van Nortwick.”
Jameson used to work for the assessor’s office, and Weaver has worked as a certified public accountant. Van Nortwick is a certified general appraiser.
Mielke said later he didn’t want to take a personal dig at Franklin because she has been ill, so he phrased his comment to refer only to “the office”. Mielke said when commissioners were slashing their way through the budget, the assessor’s budget was easy to cut because it had grown so much.
In the 2005-’06 budget, the office had $7.8 million. In ‘07-’08 the budget went up to $8.9 million, then for ‘09-’10 it was back down to $7.9 million.