La Jolla’s Barbara Bry makes bid for county assessor’s office

Barbara Bry
La Jolla resident and former San Diego City Council member Barbara Bry is now running for San Diego County assessor/recorder/county clerk.

La Jolla resident and former San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Bry announced Nov. 4 that she is running for San Diego County assessor/recorder/county clerk in the 2022 election.

Bry told the La Jolla Light that she is seeking the job because “it’s an office that has operated without public knowledge of what it does, but it’s an important office because it determines the value of property taxes. I want to make sure that we legally collect all the money we’re entitled to because this money funds our schools, our public transportation, health care services.”

The primary responsibilities of the office are:

• Assessor: locating, identifying and appraising all vacant land, improved real estate, business property and certain mobile homes, boats and aircraft for property tax purposes

• Recorder: accepting and recording legal documents required by law upon payment of fees and taxes, as well as maintaining birth, marriage and death records and indexes

• County clerk: issuing marriage licenses, performing civil marriage ceremonies and registering fictitious business name statements, notaries public, process servers and more

Bry, a small-business owner in the technology field before she served on the City Council from 2016 to 2020, pledged to create a Technology Advisory Committee to streamline public access to assessor records.

“I want to use my technology background to make sure we are offering the best customer service to everyone — from the big corporations to the little guys,” she said. “Right now, if you want to find certain information on the county website, it’s more complicated than it needs to be.”

Rather than seek a second City Council term, Bry ran unsuccessfully for mayor last year. While on the council, she chaired the city’s Budget and Government Efficiency Committee and served as council president pro tem.

If elected to the county post, she would be San Diego County’s first female assessor. The office was once split into the offices of assessor and recorder/county clerk. There has never been a woman as assessor, and a woman has not held the office since it was combined.

The current assessor/recorder/county clerk is Ernest Dronenburg Jr., who is not seeking reelection.

So far, Bry is one of only two candidates who have announced their intention to run. The other, Jordan Marks, is a taxpayers’ rights advocate for the office of assessor/recorder/county clerk and is tasked with helping taxpayers navigate issues in the office. Marks has been endorsed by the Republican Party of San Diego County.

The primary is in June and the top two candidates will run off in November 2022. ◆