Candidate for Lane County Assessor, Faith Bowlsby, please tell us about yourself and why you are running.
[00:00:06] Faith Bowlsby: Let’s see. I’m running because I feel like I’m the most qualified. Why else would I run?
[00:00:10] I’ve worked for the County for over 12 years now. A lot of people are going to remember me. They remember my name. Some people aren’t going to be happy about it. But for the most part, I have always been honest. I’ve always given the full picture. I’ve always provided the information that they’ve wanted and then some, because I know what the next question will be. I know what the next step will be in their process.
[00:00:33] So if you remember my name, think about it for a little bit, because the fact of the matter is, is I’ve talked to hundreds of you on the phone, maybe thousands, working as the utility appraiser for a long time, dealing with appeals and so forth. So I’ve talked to everybody, the omitted property people, and I know it’s not a happy conversation sometimes, but I think it’s important that people understand and know what they’re doing with their taxes and their property.
[00:00:59] And I love to get the question, ‘What’s this going to do for my taxes?’ Before they actually do it! Because afterwards, all I can do is help them through the appeal process. So getting that question before and being able to walk somebody through the math and so that they have an understanding, it doesn’t discourage people, I’m positive of that. Because when they understand that they can build a deck and it doesn’t meet the $10,000 threshold in a year—that it’s not going to change their taxes—they build the deck and they have a great wonderful experience with our department. I think that’s the kind of thing that we need to get more out there, is the information.
[00:01:35] I want to make our office more transparent. I want to make our record more transparent. We have the online tool to look at what we have in the record, but we don’t really have a way for property owners to report a change in the property. And it’s not as user-friendly as I’d like it to be. There’s off-the-shelf tools and programs that we can use.
[00:01:55] And I’m also tenacious. Anybody that knows me, knows I don’t give up. And when I tell you I’m going to do something, I do it. I follow through.
[00:02:06] I’ve been self-employed, I’ve owned my own business. In addition to all of the experience that I have working for Lane County in Assessment and Taxation, for 12 years now I have done every training I can get my hands on around appraisal and mass appraisal, evaluating earthquake damage and so forth. I was on the emergency Incident Command and right now I’m currently working on my Certificate of Public Administration through Willamette University. In this particular program, I think the first one I took, ‘Understanding the Dynamics of Organizations,’ that really opened my eyes to the kind of environment that we have currently in our office. And I hadn’t been able to put words to it, and that helped me to do that. And I enjoyed the professionalism of the professors there.
[00:02:56] The other course that I took recently was ‘Conversations in IT.’ The class was populated by IT professionals throughout state government, different agencies. But the guest speakers were professionals in that field. The professor introduced us to so many public professionals I really felt like we got to touch a lot of different areas and actually touch base with people that know and are part of that. That was amazing.
[00:03:24] John Q: Faith Bowlsby, what’s the most important issue facing the County Assessor?
[00:03:28] Faith Bowlsby: Number one, and as far as I’m concerned, is staff retention. We lose so many people. I think it has to do with kind of a old fashioned way of running things, I think. We’re kind of stuck in a time warp. And the workforce and the work environment has evolved a lot, especially in these last few years during COVID. So I think that flexibility and workplace retention for staff is really the most important part.
[00:03:54] The second of course is our archaic software system that really needs our attention. And I think that that’s something that’s gonna be foremost in my mind as well. So software is a big deal. We’ve been doing workarounds for so long that it really has run its course.
[00:04:11] John Q: Faith Bowlsby. if elected, what would you do differently than your opponent?
[00:04:16] Faith Bowlsby: I’m not certain what I would do differently than my opponent but historically, I would spend a lot more time evolving our office into the next century. So bringing us to what’s more common practice in the office environment today. Because that’s what our employees want, that’s what our staff needs to be successful. And as far as I’m concerned, as manager of a department, your job is to provide what your staff needs so that they can be successful. And that needs to be our focus.
[00:04:44] John Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say?
[00:04:47] Faith Bowlsby: First and foremost, I’m a mom. I’ve got four sons that I’ve raised in this community. We’ve lived here for a little over 20 years now.
[00:04:55] I am not just another pretty face. I know what I’m doing. I know where things are. I know how things run and I really think that I’m the best qualified for the position.
[00:05:05] I did have yard signs come in yesterday. One evening. I could not fall asleep. And so I went online, did the ‘Upload a picture,’ and I was like, ‘Okay. So I guess it’s official now.’ So if you want one, just let me know.
[00:05:18] John Q: To get your yard sign, email FaithBowlsby@gmail.com.