County hires appraiser

Staff writer

County commissioners breathed a collective sigh of relief Monday after their four-month long search for a new appraiser ended.

“We’re locked down at this point,” Commissioner Dan Holub said. “We need an appraiser to go forward after these tax hearings. It’s crucial.”

The commission met in a closed session for 20 minutes interviewing Raymond Cook, the applicant that currently lives in Valley Falls, ultimately deciding to hire him as a replacement to former appraiser Cindy Magill. Magill resigned from her position in August.

“We’ve made at least four offers,” Chairman Randy Dallke said. “Timing in a couple of those people’s lives has been the big issue to where they just couldn’t move, due to the other half of their family.”

After the initial failed attempts, County Clerk Tina Spencer developed the idea to send letters to every applicable appraiser on a list provided by the state.

Cook accepted an offer of $55,000 for his first year, with annual increments of $1,500 for two years, the fourth year being negotiable.

“I don’t know where it’s all headed, but yes we are glad to have a person accept the job and be here,” Dallke said. “He’ll be looking for a room or apartment to begin with until he can make arrangements with his family to come out here.”

In other news:

  • Commissioners approved a Class B Club license to Marion Country Club for 2014.
  • Holub will host a legislative forum at 9 a.m. Dec. 21 at the Marion Community Center. Commissioners discussed possible moderators and how the event should proceed.
  • Commissioners voted to give employees a one-time payment in lieu of a pay raise. Full-time employees will receive $300, and $75 for part-time employees.
  • Demolition of the old jail is scheduled for this week, but Spencer said she was unsure of the exact date.
  • Commissioners gave permission for a $600 computer stand to be placed on the emergency management truck.
  • Road and Bridge Superintendent Randy Crawford said his department would be putting down sand to neutralize icy conditions instead of salt.
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