Citing "a crisis of leadership," San Luis Obispo County Deputy Assessor David Boyer announced that he is running to unseat his boss, County Assessor Tom J. Bordonaro Jr.
Boyer accuses Bordonaro of chronic absence from the position he has held since 2002.
"Over the past five years, our current assessor, Tom Bordonaro, has maintained his reputation of hardly ever showing up to work," Boyer said in a speech announcing his candidacy that was posted on YouTube in February.
Bordonaro said in an email he has had four surgeries in five years to repair "a simple outpatient surgery that went bad."
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"Now, I understand if a person has to leave their job for several months to deal with a medical issue," Boyer said. "However, when an elected official is unable to perform his duties for the majority of his term, it is time to acknowledge that it may not be the right time in his life to serve."
Besides serving as deputy assessor, Boyer also is a licensed architect and building contractor. This marks his first run for public office.
The assessor's office is responsible for tracking and valuing all real and personal property in the county.
Bordonaro, a Cal Poly alum and former Republican California State Assemblyman, was last re-elected when he ran unopposed in the June 2014 primary. Boyer has worked for the assessor's office for five years. Both men seek to lead an office that employs 85 and has a budget of millions.
"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.
Bordonaro acknowledged being sidelined with medical issues and accused Boyer of "distorting the facts for his own personal gain."
Bordonaro said after each surgery he spent six to eight weeks recovering but was never more than five days out of contact with the office via "emails, Skype and conference calls."
In his speech, Boyer accused Bordonaro of restructuring the office to create "a layer of senior management" with too many people vying for leadership in Bordonaro's absence.
"This absence of leadership directly impacts the quality of service received by tax payers and the performance of the office," Boyer said.
Bordonaro said the reorganization was recommended by a staff team "after an intense Organizational Health Assessment in conjunction with the administrative office and a consultant."
Voters will decide who will serve as assessor for the next four years on June 5.