County assessor candidates polar opposites
PETER VAN NORTWICKRepublicano Age: 43.o Profession: Self-employed real estate appraiser.o Campaign finances: $17,641 raised, $17,348 spent.o Quote: “Are you for change in this office or do you want the status quo?”o Website: www.van4assessor.com.JANET SEEKINSDemocrato Age: 53.o Profession: Senior residential appraiser in the assessor’s office.o Campaign finances: $17,376 raised, $15,124 spent.o Quote: “I truly care about the direction of our office and making sure all the taxpayers are treated with respect and fairness.”o Website: www.janetseekinsforassessor.org.Democrat Janet Seekins and Republican Peter Van Nortwick are vying to replace Clark County Assessor Linda Franklin.From the start, with Van Nortwick charging that the county assesses property values incorrectly and Franklin responding, “Hell, no” when asked if Van Nortwick was qualified, the race has been bitter and different angles have emerged. There’s insider versus outsider: Seekins has worked for the office for 29 years, while Van Nortwick’s self-employed.There’s a difference in goals: Seekins cites greater efficiency, improved customer service and an enhanced website as priorities; Van Nortwick has written a “Bill of Rights” for property taxpayers, making pledges that, to be realized, would require changes in state law and, in one case, an amendment to the state constitution.There’s the what’s-more-disconcerting angle: Seekins didn’t register to vote until April, so the first time she voted was the August primary. If that’s her skeleton in the closet, Van Nortwick’s skeleton, as disclosed in court documents seven years ago, is that he couldn’t pay child support because he has a significant mental disability that makes it difficult for him to build relationships with people and find employment.Van Nortwick was trained to be an appraiser through the Department of Social and Health Services’ Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. He qualified for the assistance after he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Van Nortwick said he’s learned to manage his condition.