The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Coons is the right candidate for assessor


October 11, 2018

For weeks, I've been waiting for the edition when we didn't have a letter to the editor regarding the election for county assessor. I've wanted to write an opinion column about the race, but I've wanted to avoid giving the impression that I'm responding to a letter.

However, there's been so much interest in the race, the letters keep coming, and I don't think there will be a lull before the ballots come out later this month. And so, here it goes.

I met Bill Coons not long after he moved to Wahkiakum County in the early 1990's. At that time, he and his former wife set up an alpaca farm, and he continued to work for a Silicon Valley firm, heading a team that installed high tech corporate telephone systems across the U.S. and in foreign countries. Cisco Corp. absorbed the smaller firm for whom Coons worked, and he left it and eventually went into real estate.

Eight years ago, with the county assessor's office in disarray, he ran for the office and won the election. Since then, he's put the office back on its feet, implemented annual revaluations and used his technical knowledge to install and implement some complicated computer programs. He has recruited knowledgeable assistants. It hasn't been easy, but through it all, Coons has worked his tail off to create an efficient, professional operation.

I've been reporting on Wahkiakum County government since 1979, and I've seen what happens when there's an elected official who is in over his or her head. The department struggles to perform its job, and the weakness spreads to other departments. In the end, citizens are poorly served.

The work of the assessor's office requires knowledge, intelligence and perseverance. Coons is the right fit for the job; I hope voters will keep the good thing going and not derail the train.


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