Jones County starts search for new assessor

Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Jones County is on the hunt for another county assessor.

     On Nov. 1, current county assessor Arnie Andreesen submitted his letter of resignation to the Conference Board. He stated he plans to retire as of Dec. 29, 2017.

     Andreesen is only the second county assessor in Jones County’s history. He took over the position in 1980.

     With this vacancy, the Jones County Conference Board is called into session. The Conference Board oversees the Assessor’s Office, and sets the annual budget for this department.

     Those who make up the Conference Board include:

Board of Education members

     • Carl Chalstrom, Anamosa

     • Terry Lineburg, Midland

     • Bud Johnson, Monticello


     • Dale Barnes, Jr., Anamosa

     • Marcus Behken, Cascade

     • Dave Fountain, Martelle

     • Dena Himes, Monticello

     • Michael O’Connor, Morley

     • Becky McAtee, Olin

     • Beth Streeper, Onslow

     • Merle Tank, Oxford Jucntion

     • Steve Agnitsch, Wyoming

Board of Supervisors

     • Wayne Manternch

     • Joe Oswald

     • Jon Zirkelbach

     • Ned Rohwedder

     • Lloyd Eaken

     After the board accepted Andreesen’s resignation, they called into order the Examining Board. Their job, according to Iowa Code, entails requesting a list qualified candidates from the state. Applicants must have passed the state assessor’s exam.

     Those who serve on the Examining Board include:

     • Barb Carlson, representing the Board of Supervisors

     • Rebecca Weimer, representing the mayors

     • Robert Ahrendsen, representing the school districts

     The Examining Board has seven days following a resignation (Nov. 16) to request the list of eligible assessor candidates. Once they receive the list, they could choose to not interview any of the candidates, and turn all of the applications over the Conference Board to make the final decision. They could interview the candidates, but still not make a recommendation. Or, the Examining Board could interview the qualified candidates and make a recommendation to the Conference Board.

     Whatever action they choose to take, or not take, this must be done within 15 days.

     The Examining Board planned to meet on Nov. 20 to start their end of the process, contacting the Director of Revenue for the candidate list.

     Then the Conference Board has seven more days to accept the Examining Board’s recommendation, recommend someone else, or interview all/part of the list of applicants and make a final decision.

     Ten days after a decision is made, the chairman of the Conference Board must give written notice to the Iowa Department of Revenue.

     Andreesen said he knows it’s a tough time of the year with the holidays to make this happen within the mandated timeframe.

     Unlike other county jobs, he said the assessor position is a special job, and simply advertising it in the local newspapers won’t draw in the necessary qualified candidates.

     Andreesen warned the Conference Board that the list of candidates would be pretty slim.

     “You’re not going to get 10-15 applications,” he said. “You’ll maybe see four or five.”

     Whoever is chosen would fill Andreesen’s position for four more years, of the six-year term.

     Zirkelbach asked whether the candidate would come in on a trial basis. Andreesen said if the Examining Board and Conference Board were both confident in their choice, a trial run would not be needed.

     “I’ve never heard of that happening,” he said.

     Oswald asked whether the new assessor would step in at Andreesen’s same salary. That decision lies with the Conference Board.

     Worst-base scenario, if there were no qualified candidates, Andreesen said the Chief Deputy Assessor would take over (Sarah Benter).

     “But I assume people will apply,” Andreesen said, putting the board at ease.


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