HARTINGTON — Cedar County Assessor Don Hoesing submitted a letter of resignation Tuesday to Cedar County Commissioners.
After accepting Hoesing’s letter of resignation, County Commissioners then appointed Jeff Curry of Laurel to replace him, beginning May 4.
Hoesing is happy to have Curry coming on board.
“He’s got the experience and we tried to get someone that will be here for awhile,” he said.
Hoesing, 71, said he had been thinking about retiring for quite some time.
“My target was always 70,” he said, but it just didn’t work out that way.
Hoesing is the second longest serving County Assessor in Cedar County history. Deward Erickson has held the post the longest, serving the county for 27 years. Hoesing has held the office for 26 years.
He was first elected to office in 1994 after running as a write-in candidate. He ran unopposed in each successive election.
Hoesing said he first decided to seek the office when former Assessor Roger Bonertz decided not to seek another term.
At the time, Hoesing was farming in the St. Helena area, and farm life was often more stressful than fun, he said.
“The interest rates had gotten so high, and there were years where the weather just didn’t make things easy and you didn’t even get a crop,” he said.
Hoesing said he has enjoyed working with the public as the Cedar County Assessor.
“It’s treated me well,” he said. “The people have treated me well."
A county assessor has the duty to value all real and personal property in the county as a basis for the county board to levy taxes. This means he has often been in the cross hairs when people have been surprised by their tax statements.
“We had some adjustment years where we had to make some changes that weren’t too well received. We just had to hang tough then.” he said. “But when people realize we have to follow the state statutes and we don’t have a lot of wiggle room, then they understand. In most cases, if you take the time to listen to somebody and hear them out, they have a better understanding of the situation.”
A lot of things have changed in his office in the 26 years he has worked as the Cedar County Assessor.
“So much information is now available on line. That has been a huge change,” he said. “That has cut down traffic in here and it’s cut down on phone calls.”
The transition to a digital system, making records accessible on line was a long and slow process, which Hoesing estimates took about 15 years to complete.
“It was a real gradual process,” he said. While he’s had his share of upset visitors in his office, he’s also had quite a few people that were very grateful he was able to help them out.
“One of the more enjoyable roles has been helping people to better understand how the system works, especially when it comes to Homestead Exemptions,” he said. “Helping some of the older people with the Homestead exemptions has been enjoyable."
Hoesing said he will miss the staff that has worked so well to keep the office running smoothly all these years.
“I want to compliment my staff on how good they’ve been over the years,” he said. “They have really made my job much easier. It’s great to have good people working for you.”
He will also miss the other County officials and county courthouse workers he has dealt with on a daily basis for the past 26 years.
“I’ll miss dealing with the people, too,” he said. “You can’t always make everybody happy, but on the whole it’s been good.”
Hoesing said he is looking forward to a time when he can set his own schedule, and not have to be to work at a certain time.
He is also looking forward to spending more time with his family during retirement. Of course, he will have “the freedom to do nothing if that’s what you want or to go fishing or golfing when the weather is nice.”
Hoesing said he and wife, Karen, may also take some time to travel during their retirement years.
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