Dutton Touts Private & Public Sector Experience In Assessor Bid

(April 7)  Former California State Senator Bob Dutton said he is running for county assessor “because I think I can do a good job for San Bernardino County. I looked at running four years ago but at that time [current assessor] Dennis [Draeger], who had been appointed by the board of supervisors, decided to serve another term and I decided to finish my last full term in the [state] senate. I have considered the availability and I am making good now on my deciding to run for assessor once I got out of the senate.”
Dutton said he is “uniquely qualified to serve as assessor.” He began working in the real estate industry in 1972 and in 1998 successfully ran for city council in Rancho Cucamonga. In 2002 he was elected to the state Assembly. Two years later he moved into the California Senate, serving the maximum two terms permitted under California’s term limitations applicable to him at that time. In his last two years in the state’s upper legislative house he was the Republican leader. It is his private and public sector experience, Dutton said, which distinguishes him from his opponent in the June election, assistant county assessor Dan Harp.
He said he had not undertaken his candidacy to oppose Harp and that he had “no opinion [about Harp] one way or the other. I only met him once and I’m not going to make snap judgments on people.”
It is not unthinkable that Harp would remain as assistant assessor following a Dutton victory.
“I don’t know,” Dutton said with regard to whether Harp would be chosen as his second-in-command if he is victorious. “I do plan to bring some new people in. There are already a lot of good people there. I will put people in positions I feel will be part of the solution and have a vision for the future. The county is suffering from a lack of economic development. We need growth. Those in the assessor’s office and county clerk’s office are a part of that. I want people in place who can make sure there is follow through. I believe in a high level of accountability. I have operated that way in the private sector. At one time I had over 100 employees and had $100 million worth of property under my supervision. I am service oriented. The way I have carried out my duties on the city council and in the assembly and state senate have been consistent in that way.”
As to the current function of the assessor’s office, Dutton said, “I am not criticizing anything in particular. Based upon my combination of  business experience  in the private sector and background in government, I want to keep the assessor’s office moving forward. My priorities are to have the office operate at a high level of integrity, with maximum openness and greater efficiency by streamlining the processes.”
How he would obtain greater efficiency, Dutton at this point said, “is hard to say. The election, one way or the other is going to be over by June. There are only two of us in this race. If I win, I will call for an immediate 120-day performance review prior to my taking office. That will give me an idea of what needs to be improved upon and I will have a plan of action in hand when I assume elected office. I will want elected officials, people from the private sector and people from the department itself involved in that review so that the assessor’s office employees will buy into it.”
Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Dutton  moved to California for basic training at the age of 19 in 1969.  After he left the military he attended Los Angeles Valley College in Van Nuys, where he obtained his Associate of Arts degree and joined with his father to found a real estate company the year after he graduated.  He is married with one grown child.

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