Three Republicans, not Democrats, vying for Douglas County councilman after incumbent resigns

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For the first time in nearly 20 years, voters are electing a new Douglas County evaluator. Diane Battiato is retiring. Voters first elected Battiato to the Douglas County Deed Register in 2004, then were reelected twice and won the newly merged Assessor’s Register of Deeds Office in 2014. Now three Republicans want to take office. Newcomer Kay Carne said she would bring more than a decade of experience as an accountant to improve the office. “I really want to get in there and put some pressure on the tax rate so the tax rate goes down,” Carne said. She is ready to make some changes to ease the rising property tax valuations. “I’ve seen real estate sit still for a couple of years and not move at all, even though the market moved a little bit and then made a big jump,” she said. “I want to improve the system and get rid of these big leaps.” This is also a first run for public office for Brian Grimm, but he doesn’t serve in one. “I’m the only one who can do this. The other two candidates have never had office experience,” said Grimm. “They’ve never worked there.” Grimm has been with the Assessor since 2006. The last five years as chief branch office deputy, responsible for all property tax reports. “I think voters deserve someone who started from the bottom. worked up and know how the whole process works from start to finish. The other two candidates have a tremendous learning curve,” he said. Real estate entrepreneur Walt Peffer is running again. He lost by two percentage points to incumbent Battiato in the 2018 election. “I have a government background and hands-on real estate experience, which I don’t think the other two do have,” said Peffer, wanting to make the valuation process more user-friendly by holding evening events for taxpayers. “We want to show respect to the taxpayers. These people are stressed, and I understand that. The idea is to take some of that stress off and explain what is going on and see if we can work with them right away,” Peffer said. Only one candidate can go to the general election. Since no Democrat is running, the general election would consist of the Republican winning the primary and from the candidates for enrollment.

For the first time in nearly 20 years, voters will elect a new Douglas County councillor.

Diane Battiato is retiring. Voters first elected Battiato to the Douglas County charter registry in 2004, then was reelected twice and won the newly combined office of charter assessor in 2014.

Now three Republicans want to take office.

Newcomer Kay Carne said she would bring more than a decade of accounting experience to improve the office.

“I really want to step in and put some pressure on the rate to make the rate go down,” Carne said.

She is ready to make some changes to ease the rising property tax valuations.

“I’ve seen real estate sit still for a couple of years and not move at all, even though the market moved a little bit and then made a big jump,” she said. “I would want to improve the system and get rid of those big jumps.”

This is also a first run for public office for Brian Grimm, but he doesn’t serve in one.

“I’m the only one who can do this. The other two candidates have never had office experience,” said Grimm. “You’ve never worked there.”

Grimm has been with the assessor since 2006. The last five years as chief sales representative, responsible for all property tax reports.

“I think voters deserve someone who started at the bottom, worked their way up and knows how the whole process works from start to finish. The other two candidates have a tremendous learning curve,” he said.

Real estate agent Walt Peffer is walking again.

In the 2018 election, he lost to incumbent Battiato by two percentage points.

“I have a government background and hands-on real estate experience, which I don’t think the other two have,” Peffer said.

Peffer said he’s worked for four Omaha mayors, balancing multimillion-dollar budgets.

Peffer wants to make the assessment process more user-friendly by holding evening events for taxpayers.

“We want to show respect to taxpayers. These people are stressed and I understand that. The idea is to take some of that stress off and explain what’s going on and see if we can work with them right away,” Peffer said.

Only one candidate can stand in the federal election. With no Democrat running, the general election would consist of the Republican winning the primary and the candidates running for enlistment.

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