Longtime San Luis Obispo County Assessor Tom Bordonaro is facing a challenger in this year's election—and he's not pulling any punches.
David Boyer, a former deputy assessor under Bordonaro, recently announced his candidacy against the three-term incumbent. The assessor's office values all real and personal property in SLO County.
Boyer's chief concern is Bordonaro's alleged spotty attendance record at work throughout his last term, and how that's impacted the office of 85 employees.
"There's been discussion in the office about what percentage of the time Tom is in the office," Boyer told New Times. "It's not what he claims. ... I think leadership requires participation."
In a speech announcing his candidacy in February, Boyer said: "I have never aspired to run for public office, but the abuse of public trust I have witnessed is something that I cannot consciously accept."
Boyer said he worked for five years in the assessor's office before recently taking a position as a county building inspector. If elected, he pledged to "work for all taxpayers," be an engaged leader, and look for efficiencies in the department.
"It'd be my dream job," Boyer said.
Bordonaro, a former state assemblyman and the county assessor since 2002, called Boyer's assertions about his attendance "very deceiving and misleading." He told New Times that he's had four surgeries in five years, which have kept him home at various points in his term.
"During those recovery times, I was not physically in the office but I was in touch with my management team through Skype, email, and conference calls," he said. "I was never not present in making decisions and guiding the office. ... What he's telling people is simply not what is going on in the office. It's just not true."
Bordonaro said he's "back to his old self" now. He touted his record of "cutting our appeals in half since I took office" and leveraging technologies that "have allowed us to do more with less."
Bordonaro and Boyer are both actively involved in the Republican Party of SLO County—Bordonaro is the vice chair (and a former chair) and, until recently, Boyer was the treasurer. The party endorsed Bordonaro for re-election in a January vote, before Boyer had officially announced his candidacy and before the candidacy filing period opened, Boyer said.
"I felt blindsided," Boyer said. "I was told by some I needed to toe the line and sit down."