Fair assessment: The race for Teton County assessor
Three candidates filed for the Teton County assessor, and since two were Democrats, the race for the Teton County assessor Democratic candidate is contested. As a Republican, Dawn E. Johnson gets a free ride to general election, while Democratic candidates Andy Cavallaro and Dee Buckstaff vie for the chance to set your property tax levels.
With the formula for assessing property value pretty much set by fake statutes, Cavallaro and Buckstaff are limited in the policy decisions they can make. But they both think they can make a difference in the level of customer service offered in the process.
“The process is unfriendly and confusing for lots of people,” Buckstaff said in a political forum at the Teton County Library on Monday. “If we make the rules clearer for people, I think we will have fewer appeals.”
A residential appraiser, Cavallaro remarked that, “When discussing the current assessor’s office with friends, co-workers, residents and local business owners, these two themes have come up repeatedly. They include a lack of consistency with property assessments and a lack of communication with residents, business owners and elected officials. I will change that.”
Cavallaro’s background also includes work as a high school teacher, nurse’s assistant, and mental health case manager.
A look at Buckstaff’s resume reveals a stint as deputy assessor for Teton County, owner and president of Montessori Schools of the Tetons and director of the Children’s Learning Center.