Annette Springs recalls an incident that she says contributed to her decision to run for Arapahoe County assessor. It happened while she was perusing …
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Annette Springs recalls an incident that she says contributed to
her decision to run for Arapahoe County assessor. It happened while
she was perusing records on the county website one day.
“I’m an appraiser so I go in every now and then and check our
records to make sure it’s accurate,” the Democratic candidate said
of the assessor’s online data.
The assessor’s office is responsible for classifying and valuing
every piece of real estate in the county. Its valuations
effectively determine how much property tax an owner will pay to
the county and to nearly 350 cities and taxing jurisdictions that
From the assessor’s site, Springs says she linked to her county
property tax record, which is maintained by the elected county
treasurer, and was surprised to find what she says was an
inaccurate notation that she and her husband had filed for personal
“I’m a fanatic about our credit and making sure that everything
is paid ahead of time,” she said. “Obviously, there is some sort of
glitch in the process that allowed for erroneous information to be
placed in our record.”
County Treasurer Doug Milliken, a Democrat, blames the error on
a computer problem
Whatever the reason for the alleged mishap, Springs says she
would do everything in her power to ensure the accuracy of county
information, if elected. The assessor’s office keeps no record of
bankruptcies, however, according to incumbent Assessor Corbin
Sakdol, Springs’s Republican opponent.
“I also plan to do some work around giving people more access to
the assessor’s office and providing them information,” Springs said
of her plans, if she is elected to office on Nov. 2.
That is not to say Springs is particularly critical of Sakdol’s
work. She praises the Republican’s decision to place photos of
properties on the valuation notices sent to property owners in the
county every two years.
Like Sakdol, Springs thinks technical qualifications, not party
affiliation, are what voters should consider when they vote for
their next assessor this fall.
“Partisanship really has nothing to do with whether or not
you’re qualified to do the job,” she said. “I know that I’m
qualified to do the job based on my experience, knowledge and
interests. I’m sure [Sakdol] feels the same way. I’m not going to
engage in a negative campaign.”
As for her own experience, Springs, 61, cites her history in
real estate and an executive management background at the former US
West. For the last 10 years, she has been a mortgage broker and a
certified real estate appraiser.
“As a manager, we were constantly looking at areas to evaluate
our processes,” Springs said of work at US West. “If there were
glitches, we weren’t always waiting for a complaint to come
Springs’s Democratic challenge comes during an evolving
political climate in Arapahoe County. Once a Republican stronghold,
the county now boasts more Democrats than independents or
In 2006, Sakdol, then a 16-year veteran of the assessor’s
office, narrowly defeated a Democratic challenger who had never
campaigned, established a website or even returned phone calls from
But now, four years later, President Obama’s declining political
fortunes coupled with the normal cycles of midterm elections have
created new challenges for Democratic candidates at all levels.
“Some people are going to go to the polls and vote their
straight ticket like they always do,” Springs said. “But I think
some people are going to take a look at the candidates because
property taxes are pretty important to people if they have a
business or own a home.”
Elected office was not always an aspiration for the first-time
candidate. The Colorado native — the third of eight children — grew
up in the housing projects of west Denver.
“Real estate was the farthest thing from my mind,” she said of
her years in government housing. “All I knew is I did not want to
live that life. To my mother’s credit, all eight of us were fairly
successful in life.”
In 1978, Springs, her husband and three sons moved to Aurora.
Today, she has 12 grandchildren.
Shortly after taking an early retirement from the
telecommunications industry, Springs pursued a second career in
“I knew I was not going to be sitting around on my thumbs. I’m
probably a workaholic, according to friends and family,” she said.
“My interest was a line of work where I could start my own
Springs says she would be as good, if not better, assessor than
“I’m not disappointed in his job,” she said. “Like I’ve said all
along, I think there’s always room for improvement.”
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