Affolder seeks seat on council

    Former Adams County assessor Judy Affolder, a Democrat, has announced her candidacy for one of three at-large seats on the Adams County Council.
    Affolder is the third Democrat, and eighth candidate overall, to announce intentions to seek an at-large berth on the council. Other announced candidates include incumbents Dennis Bluhm and Randy Colclasure, both Republicans, along with fellow Republicans Rob Noetzel, Pat Norton and Tony Mellencamp. Other Democrats seeking election include John Minch and Robert Thomas.
    The third incumbent, Kenyon Sprunger, is not seeking re-election.
    Affolder was elected county assessor in 1998 and served three terms, ending in 2010. During that time frame, she said in announcing her candidacy, the office evolved from an antiquated system to one of the most accurate and user-friendly assessment tools available. New technology was embraced to enhance real estate and personal property assessments, and cooperative efforts between the assessor, auditor and treasurer's offices, along with the county systems management office, created and implemented the state-mandated permanent parcel numbering system for Adams County, Affolder said.
    Also during her tenure as county assessor, Affolder's office was among those honored by vendor Manatron for being the first county in the state to have an integrated assessing and tax system. The system, Affolder said, allowed for information to flow between offices and eliminated data entry duplication.
    "The use of technology advancements allowed the assessor's office to be progressive in state compliancy issues, as well," Affolder said in her prepared statement.
    A resident of rural Berne, she previously served as the French Township deputy assessor. She received the state "Level 2 Assessor/Appraiser" designation in 1006, and was one of the first assessing officials in the state to receive "Level 3" in 2010.
    Affolder currently serves on the Wells County PTABOA. As a member of the International Association of Assessing Officers and its Indiana chapter, serving as the president of the northeast district as well as the Indiana chapter's board of directors. In September of 2010, Affolder was honored by her peers and named the Northeast District's Assessor of the Year for exemplary leadership and outstanding achievement in the assessing field.
    During her tenure as county assessor, Affolder had four separate budgets to prepare. In her announcement, Affolder said she maintained a consciously conservative approach to the management of those funds.
    "The acquired skills and management knowledge of the annual assessor budgets, as well as the management of the treasuries of the other organizations in which I continue to serve, provide experience in funds management and will prove beneficial in my service on the Adams County Council," she said.
    Prior to her public service, Affolder was a volunteer for 22 years with Adams Central Schools. She is a member of Cross Community Church. Her past community service includes work with the Red Cross, American Cancer Society, CROP, and Girl Scouts. She is a founding member of the Compassionate Ministries Network Board and serves as treasurer for that organization, and is the treasurer for the Adams County Democrat Party.
    A lifelong resident of Adams County, she and her husband Steve have been married for 38 years. They have five children — Michelle (Chris) Whetstone, Penny (Bill) Gay, Dan (Christie) Beer, Sam (Melanie) Beer, and Kriss (Michelle) Affolder — 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
    "As in many of the local county offices, more and more is being expected of and delegated to elected officials," said Affolder. "The expectation do more with less is very real in county government. The county council is charged with knowing what money is and will be available for services and maintenance of current assets, as well as having vision for the county's future growth.
    "Focusing on employment, technology and economic development will be important issues for council members in the coming years. It would be an honor to serve the people of this county as a member of the Adams County Council."