YORK – Plans have been made regarding how to move forward with the position of county assessor which is now vacant due to last week’s retirement of Ann Charlton.
The commissioners discussed how they were going to move forward, as it is the county board’s responsibility to fill that position within 45 days.
Last week, Tammi Norquest was sworn in as deputy county assessor. She recently was certified by the state.
Currently, Kurt Bulgrin is running unopposed for the county assessor position in this year’s election cycle and will take the assessor position in January.
But that still leaves four months in which an official assessor needs to be on duty.
“Tammi (Norquest) is newly appointed as deputy, she’s been certified and she’s taken the oath of office,” said Commissioner Chairman Randy Obermier. “There are two other employees in the office, one is new. It will be hectic, coming up, with having to send out postcards for a special LB 644 hearing, as I know at least one school district in the county will have to have one. And there is also levy setting. By law, this board has to fill that position within a 45-day window.
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“Tammi is willing to serve and we have to come up with the compensation for the extra duties,” Obermier said.
“The wage for that position has already been set by resolution and if she’s appointed as the county assessor, then she is the county assessor,” said Commissioner Kurt Bulgrin.
“Would this be an acting position or would she be the county assessor?” asked Commissioner Daniel Grotz.
“If we appoint her, ishe would be county assessor and she would assume the role,” Obermier said. “The other question is if we do the change for several months.”
“My opinion is that if we assign her to the position, she needs to get the salary of the assessor,” commented Commissioner Bill Bamesberger.
There was a conversation about having the county attorney’s office advise them on the state’s requirements in situations such as this.
“And it might be a good idea for this situation as well as all other future appointments, as a good business practice, to look at a contract when making appointments,” added Bulgrin.
Norquest reminded the board she will need rights as the assessor to have access to certain things from the state.
“As the deputy you assume the duties,” noted Obermier, recognizing those rights would likely be instilled now that she has taken the oath of office as deputy.
The commissioners postponed the matter until their next meeting on Sept. 20, so they can get clarification from the county attorney and write up some sort of employment contract.
They also noted appreciation for offers of assistance from other county assessors in the state, as they are aware of Charlton’s retirement and offered as much.