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Fri., June 24, 2011

Baker’s vision affirmed

In Mitt Romney’s book “No Apology,” he encourages “creative destruction,” the scrapping of old ways of doing things for new ways to increase productivity.

Former Spokane County Assessor Ralph Baker’s vision to make up for the loss of seven employees to budget cuts with high-resolution aerial photos now cost the county the equivalent of only one employee. By greatly improving productivity and accuracy of the assessor’s office and many local government agencies, he illustrated the concept (“County OKs photos for city,” June 15).

Romney also says, “Unions as well often oppose productivity innovations.” Our new assessor, a former union official, opposed the photos.

Another part of Mr. Baker’s vision included providing these photos to all of us via the assessor’s website map feature. The photos will help local business people like Realtors, roofers, road pavers, land developers, architects, landscapers, builders, utility companies and many more, improve their efficiency and productivity with these photos.

Baker’s vision was that local government can “assist” local businesses as well as improve its own efficiency. Officials often don’t consider citizens when improvements are contemplated. Baker did. County officials should make these photos available to all of us now! After all, we paid for them.

Kevin Best


Editor’s note: The writer served as chief deputy under former Assessor Ralph Baker.

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