Mineral County has once again appointed a new interim assessor to fill the position vacated by the resignation of Heather Drake after her arrest by Mineral County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 14.
In a surprise announcement, Commissioner Jerrie Tipton informed her colleagues that she will be recusing herself from making a decision on this matter as she had filed for the office of Mineral County Assessor on the morning of Wednesday, March 7.
The three applicants who applied were: Kevin Chism, Janeen Clark and Michael Guss.
Chism introduced himself and explained he is a title agent doing all titles from mining to geothermal to housing. “I feel confident that I can do the job,” he explained to Commissioners Garth Price and Chris Hegg.
“In the last election, I lost the position [Mineral County Assessor] by one vote. I think that speaks about what the voters wanted.”
He concluded his interview by explaining that this job is “for the public”.
Clark interviewed next and told the commissioners that she has a passion for the office of Assessor, having previously worked there.
“I know how the office runs,” she explained. “It has been my desire to come back to this office after leaving nine years ago.”
Guss explained that he applied for the position and went over the Nevada Revised Statute on the assessor position and the duties of that office.
He explained that his goal will be to make the assessor’s office a better place than it was left.
“I would not run for reelection. I believe you have two qualified candidates,” he explained to the commissioners.
Former Assessor Gloria Hughes spoke up on behalf of Clark and her abilities within the assessor’s office. She claimed that Clark was a fast learner. “I have complete confidence in her abilities,” Hughes told the commissioners.
Hegg told Price that he is leaning towards Clark and Price explained he was leaning towards Chism. District Attorney Sean Rowe explained that the two would need to come to a conclusion. Price made a motion in favor of Chism.
Price made his point that Chism had came forward during the first appointment of an interim assessor and stated he wanted to see the office be “fixed” before he was appointed. Hegg made the point that Chism stated in the first meeting that we wanted that office “fixed”, therefore he did not put his name up for appointment.
Bill Williams made a public comment to ask if the county had the funds to go out to a contractor if Guss was appointed as assessor. Mineral County Recorder-Auditor Christine Hoferer explained that no one knows the extent of what has or has not been done in the assessor’s office. She reflected on tax assessments being mailed out and the need for the funds that those tax bills generate.
After a stalemate, Hegg conceded to Price and Chism was appointed as the new interim assessor of Mineral County.