EDITORIAL: For Clark County assessor, clerk and treasurer

The case can be made that various Clark County elected offices should be nonpartisan campaigns. The case can be made that these executive-level positions should not be elected at all. But absent legislative intervention, valley voters will continue to decide partisan races for assessor, clerk, district attorney, public administrator, recorder and treasurer.

The Review-Journal editorial board offers the following endorsements for county offices on this fall’s ballot:

Democrat Michele Shafe is seeking re-election to a second term as Clark County assessor. She is being challenged by Independent American Brad Lee Barnhill and Libertarian Tim Hagan. The assessor’s office is responsible for valuing all property subject to taxation and collecting personal property taxes. It’s a complicated job that affects every person who pays property taxes, and Ms. Shafe has done an excellent job the past four years. She was an assistant director in the assessor’s office for 13 years prior to her election, she’s a state-certified appraiser, and she has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration. Clark County is fortunate to have someone with her qualifications in the office. The Review-Journal endorses Michele Shafe for assessor.

Clark County Clerk Diana Alba is not seeking re-election to a second term. The clerk maintains records for the County Commission, from agendas to votes to meeting minutes; issues marriage licenses; and swears in notary publics, among other duties. Democrat Lynn Goya is running against Republican William Hols to replace Ms. Alba. Ms. Goya, who has lived in Southern Nevada for more than 20 years, does freelance writing, grant writing and social media consulting through her company, Goya Media. She has done so much work for tourism-related publications and programs that she’s “a de facto spokeswoman for Las Vegas.” And she wants to work with other government agencies and the private sector to better promote weddings in Las Vegas. Mr. Hols does not appear to be actively campaigning for the office and declined to meet with the Review-Journal to discuss his candidacy. The Review-Journal endorses Lynn Goya for clerk.

The race for county treasurer is one of the easiest calls on November’s ballot. Democrat Laura Fitzpatrick, who has held the office since 1998, is seeking re-election against Republican Mike “Doc” Javornicky. The treasurer is the county’s tax collector, banker and investment officer, and as such is responsible for the management of billions of tax dollars. Ms. Fitzpatrick is a certified public accountant with more than 20 years of experience in public-sector and private-sector finance. She has modernized the office, made it easier for residents to pay their tax bills and has steered the county’s portfolios through the Great Recession. “This is a public trust,” she said. Mr. Javornicky, who challenged Ms. Fitzpatrick in 2010 as well, had a memorable interview with the Review-Journal editorial board four years ago, saying the job is “not too demanding. As long as you’ve got a good deputy, you don’t have to be there all the time.” Given Mr. Javornicky’s lack of qualifications and lack of commitment to the job, it’s imperative that voters re-elect the incumbent. The Review-Journal endorses Laura Fitzpatrick for treasurer.

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