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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of October 23 - 29, 2002


Assessor candidates square off in debate

Express Staff Writer

Expanding on his campaign slogan that "itís time for a change," Blaine County assessor challenger Walt Cochran said last week that his main priority in office would be to reorganize personnel.

Valdi Pace

Both Cochran and incumbent Valdi Pace spoke to an audience of about 50 voters during the Pizza and Politics night Oct. 16. Cochranís current position as an appraiser in the office makes the race somewhat of an awkward one for both candidates.

"I will do my best to make sure everyone is treated fairly and with respect," Cochran said.

Pace emphasized her proven ability in office and the benefits of continuity there. She also said she had been willing to face controversy head-on.

Pace said she had made some staff changes during her four-year tenure and had obtained better appraisal software.

Walt Cochran

Cochran said he would like to see the office more open to the public, but did not elaborate on how, nor did he elaborate on his promise to reorganize personnel.

Cochranís ability as an appraiser was challenged by former Blaine County Commissioner Len Harlig, who called him too aggressive, contending that many of his appraisals had been lowered by the countyís Board of Equalization.

Both Pace and Cochran agreed that the assessorís office has no power to address some of the complaints raised by questioners at the forum, such as high property taxes and legislative efforts to make disclosure of real estate sales Idaho law.



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