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League of Women Voters urges yes vote on county assessor ballot measure

In 1999, after a two-year study of county government, the League of Women Voters Rogue Valley recommended that the county treasurer position be abolished and replaced with an appointed finance officer. Jackson County made that charter change the same year. The League also recommended that the assessor and surveyor should be appointed.

In 2019, after another two-year study, the League again affirmed its position, stating, “The League believes that offices requiring expertise in a professional field, that are not required to make policy decisions, or are not politically sensitive, should be appointive rather than elective. The League believes that the offices of assessor … should be appointive rather than elected, and that qualifications conform to state requirements. (ORS 249.031)”

On page 16 of the LWVRV government study, there is more discussion quoting the 1999 study, which found “the office of county assessor does not involve policy-making, but is purely administrative. Also, the direction and control of the duties of the office of county assessor are established by the state. For this reason, the committee feels the county assessor’s position should be made appointive rather than elective.”

The League has been urging a change to make the assessor an appointed position for over 20 years. The time has come. On behalf of the League of Women Voters Rogue Valley, we urge a yes vote on Measure 15-201, making the position of assessor appointed.

Margie Ann Peterson is president of the League of Women Voters Rogue Valley.