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Chief Deputy Assessor facing Pocatello Police officer in Bannock assessor primary

East Idaho Elects

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POCATELLO — With current Bannock County Assessor Sheri Davies not running for re-election, her chief deputy has filed to fill the role.

Anita Hymas, who has been the county’s chief deputy assessor since 2013, will face current Pocatello police officer Greg Cates in the Republican primary.

EastIdahoNews.com sent the same eight questions to both candidates but received only Hymas’ responses. Her unedited answers below were required to be 250 words or less.

The primary election is on May 17. The general election is on Nov. 8.

Tell us about yourself — include information about your family, career, education, volunteer work and any prior experience in public office.

HYMAS: I moved to Idaho when I was 9 years old. My dad retired from the military and moved us to Idaho. We lived in Northern Idaho until 1977 when we moved to Bannock County. I finished my Junior and Senior Years at Pocatello High School.

Through a class called Office Occupations I was able to apply and get a job at the County Assessor’s office, working in the plat room researching ownership for the second half of the day. After I graduated, I attended ISU while I continued to work part-time. I was soon offered a full-time job at the Assessor’s office.

I have been married for 38 years and we have one daughter who is the light of our life. We have resided in Chubbuck since 1987. We love the outdoors and love Bannock County. I am active in my Church and have coached swimming in Special Olympics for years.

At the County, I started as a researcher and quickly learned how to process deeds, and eventually did data entry of mobile homes. I was Office Manager and then went back to the plat room where I learned how to draft in the computer instead of by hand. I then became the Cadastral Coordinator, which was one of my favorite positions.

In 2013, then-Assessor Dave Packer appointed me to Chief Deputy and I have been able to remain in that position ever since.

What are your proudest accomplishments in your personal life or career?

HYMAS: On a personal level, my greatest accomplishment is becoming a wife and mother. Another one is that I overcame a fear of the water when my husband asked me to try float tubing. Now it is one of my favorite things to do.

On a professional level, here are just a few of my accomplishments: I can do most of the positions in the office. I have never actually become a certified appraiser, but I have taken all the necessary courses. I work with the appraisers to solve issues and getting things done in a timely manner. As a plat room assistant and deed processor, I learned to find any deed or case that no one else was able to find. I helped create plat room procedures for going digital with the plat books when we first converted over to computers. As a mobile home technician, I worked with the Treasurer’s office to create a prepayment form for prepaying taxes for manufactured homes. As Office Manager, I created procedures and processes for the support staff. As Chief Deputy, I made improvements to the procedure for processing nonprofit exemptions, which is now done in the Commissioner’s Office. I have been instrumental in improving the process of appeals in our office alongside the appraisers and support staff.

My greatest accomplishment is that I have worked and moved up in an office that not only has become my career but an office that I have helped move into the future.

Why are you a member of the Republican / Democrat / Independent / Other party? Briefly explain your political platform.

HYMAS: I was raised in a conservative Republican home. My Grandparents and parents were all republican. My father, being in the military and serving in 3 wars, loved his Country. He instilled in me and both of my brothers patriotism and love for our Country as well. I was taught at a very young age good values and strong morals and was taught how precious life is. I am grateful to both my parents for the things that they taught us. I believe in the 2nd Amendment to protect our freedom. I believe in God and I know that he lives.

I have always been interested in politics from a very young age. I was so excited at the age of 18 to exercise my right to vote. I don’t think I have ever not voted in a primary or General election.

Please explain the role and responsibilities of the position you are running for?

HYMAS: The Primary duty of the Assessor is to determine the equitable values of both real and personal property. Every taxable parcel has to be brought to market value each year. This is done through the revaluation process by watching the market and looking at sales data.  

The Assessor, under Idaho code, is tasked with completing a 5-year appraisal cycle that requires at least 1/5 of the county be reviewed and inspected for any changes each year. They also are responsible for identifying and classifying all property in the county according to state law. The Assessor is also responsible for implementation of exemptions on real and personal property.

The Assessor is also responsible for the Department of motor vehicles, to title and register vehicles as an agent for the Department of Idaho Transportation.

What are the greatest challenges facing your county

HYMAS: The growth that we are experiencing is incredible in Bannock County. This being said, the biggest challenge for the Assessor’s office is that the real estate market in Bannock County is unrecognizable compared to 4 years ago. Homes are selling for over the asking price and first-time homebuyers are facing a monumental challenge in the dream of home ownership.

Combine that with the State’s requirement that every county must value properties at current market value every year and we have quite the dilemma. Adjusting properties to match this market, while doing so in a fair & equitable way is a large project. We made some really great progress towards that goal over the last two years, and that work continues as we speak. I will tirelessly work to bring the taxpayers the equitable assessments they are asking for.

How will you best represent the views of your constituents – even those with differing political views?

HYMAS: The Assessor’s office is a partisan elected position, but I honestly do not feel that partisan politics are really a part of how the office runs. The state has some pretty straight-forward laws, codes, rules, etc. on how the Assessor’s office conducts work.

I have worked with people from every walk of life and every political background, and I will continue to do so. I believe that many of today’s problems that we face can be handled by involving a diverse group of people with different backgrounds and experiences. In all the years of working with the public, I have learned far more from our property owners and taxpayers than I could ever hope to teach them. Many of my ideas are based in the feedback and conversations I routinely have with the members of our community.

How can you encourage or improve relationships with cities and other municipal or educational entities within your jurisdiction?

HYMAS: Communication. Hands down, the best way that we help each other and grow our relationships is to talk with one another. Listening to what each other needs, and finding solutions together is how we move forward as a government, and as a community.

What are your views on local and state media organizations. As an elected official how would you work with the media to help inform the public?

HYMAS: I think the media has a very challenging job: bringing the news to the people, and do it in an engaging manner. I look forward to doing everything that I can to help give the media information that they can then pass on to the public. There are plenty of one-on-one conversations that I have had with the public, that contained information that would probably be appreciated by a larger audience. By working with the media, we can help get those important messages out to as many people as possible.

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