Election Jackson County November 2021

Election News & Information
November 2, 2021 Jackson County Special Election

Jackson County has initiative to change the Assessor to an appointed position. Shady Cove has candidates for office.

The Rogue Valley League of Women Voters has studied this issue and recommends a Yes vote.


The League believes that appointments for any position, especially a county administrator, must have total transparency, including open application process, accessible public information regarding applicant pool, open meetings, professional criterions and requirements, and easily available information on determination of the selection panel. Standardized and open process is most important.

Appointments of Non-Partisan County Offices. The League believes that offices requiring expertise in a professional field, that are not required to make policy decisions, or are not politically sensitive, should be appointive rather than elective.

The League believes that the offices of Assessor, Surveyor, Treasurer (Josephine County) and County Counsel (as of this writing elected in Josephine County) should be appointive rather than elected, and that qualifications conform to state requirements. (ORS 249.031)

We retain our previous LWVRV position, supporting the election of a County Clerk and Sherriff. It is our belief that the County Clerk and Sherriff hold a special place in the minds of residents in both counties. A County Clerk works for the voters, oversees elections and maintains county records (ORS 205.110). A Sheriff works for the people, and is the conservator of the peace for the county (ORS 206.110).

the following is a selection from the County Government Study Update, regarding

Elective vs. Appointive. In our interviews, the persons who prefer positions to be appointed stress that these positions are technical positions and do not involve political policy. The persons who prefer positions to be elective stress that they want these office holders to be more responsive to the will of the people.

Presently in Jackson County, the offices of County Clerk, County Assessor, County Surveyor, and County Sheriff are elective. The treasurer’s duties were assumed by the finance department as a result of a 1999 charter amendment, which was recommended by the League of Women Voters of Rogue Valley study. The League also recommended in 1999 that the Assessor and Surveyor should be appointed on the basis of professional criteria rather than elected:

“the office of County Assessor does not involve policy making, but is purely administrative. Also, the direction and control of the duties of the office of County Assessor are established by the state. For this reason the Committee feels the County Assessor’s position should be made appointive rather than elective. ” [Study 1998-99, p. 6-7]

In 2017, the Jackson County Assessor incorrectly certified property tax rolls, incorrectly billing over 91,000 tax payers and requiring a major staff effort to correct the problem.1 This incident created liability for the county due to substandard accounting procedures and highlights the importance of professional expertise in this position. This may indicate that it is time for the County Assessor to be considered for appointment versus election. Other states and counties have changed from appointed to elective assessors after considering the arguments for each approach. 2

The League of Women Voters of Rogue Valley 1999 position did not recommend having an appointed sheriff, citing (as one issue) a lack of support. There continues to be sustained public interest in the election of the sheriff. As an example, in the recent past, Jackson County had the issue on the ballot and 85% of voters supported an elected sheriff.

1 Aldous, Vickie, “Tax errors create headaches for taxpayers,” Medford Mail Tribune, March 23, 2018.: http://mailtribune.com/news/government-politics/tax-errors-create-headaches-for-taxpayers (Accessed Nov. 7, 2018) Tax Errors By Assessor Mail Tribune 2018 03 23

2 The New York State Department of Taxation and Finances, addresses some of the changes seen in the role of assessor and explores some of the arguments for appointing assessors here: https://www.tax.ny.gov/pit/property/learn/assessors.htm (Accessed Nov. 7, 2018)

Jackson Co Voters Pamphlet -Shady Cove
(Pamphlet to be mailed with ballot packet on Friday, October 15th)
See Important Dates  – November 2, 2021 Special Election

Josephine County and the State of Oregon do not have any ballots for the
Tuesday following the 1st Monday in November, which falls on Nov 2. 2021.

Jackson County has initiative to change the Assessor to an appointed position. Shady Cove has candidates for office.

The Rogue Valley League of Women Voters has studied this issue and recommends a Yes vote.

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