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Griggs tagged as county assessor

By NICK NARIGON

Linda Griggs is moving across Court Avenue, again.

After moving the auditor’s office into the Iowa County Courthouse annex two years ago, Griggs is moving back into the courthouse, this time as the Iowa County Assessor.

Griggs, the Iowa County Auditor, resigned from her position effective Friday, March 12, and became the Iowa County Assessor effective Monday, March 15.

“I am anxious to get over there and dig in,” Griggs said.

Griggs, 55, Marengo, has been the acting Iowa County Assessor since Nov. 2 when Iowa County Assessor Sharon Hudepohl retired. According to the Iowa Code, if the county does not have a deputy assessor, the auditor is required to fill in as the interim assessor until a replacement is hired.

At the time, Griggs said she had no intention of becoming the full-time assessor. But she said the more time she spent in the assessor’s office, the more intriguing the position became.

“I want to understand the position more, and the duties of the office,” she said.

The primary duty of the assessor is to assess all real property within the county, including residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural classes of property.

Griggs said the new position will be challenging, but said other county assessors have already been helpful.

“That is the advantage of working in county government, we are not in competition with other counties. Everyone is willing to help, and I find that with other assessors” she said.

She said she will miss working in the auditor’s office, but the two offices work closely on real estate and the county’s GIS project.

“The offices are pretty interchanging. We will have a good working relationship between both offices,” she said.

Griggs first started working for Iowa County in 1983 in the treasurer’s office. She left in 1987 to raise her two children, while still helping the office out part-time during the tax season. Griggs returned to the treasurer’s office full-time in 1990. Then in 1993 she ran for the elected position of Iowa County Auditor, and has held the office ever since.

The Iowa County Conference Board, which approves the assessor’s budget, approved the hire of Griggs at the March 9 meeting.

The conference board’s examining board interviewed three candidates March 3 for the position and recommended Griggs be the assessor.

Williamsburg Mayor Frank Murphy, who was a member of the examining board, said over the last few months Griggs has taken over a lot of responsibility in the assessor’s office. He said what impressed him the most was the fact Griggs studied for and passed the test to become a certified assessor, without the intention of becoming the assessor.

“That says a lot to me,” Murphy said. “She has done an excellent job there in terms of managing to take on the extra duties without any extra pay.”

As the Iowa County Assessor, Griggs will earn an annual salary of $58,000. She will start with a balance of 200 hours of sick leave and 120 hours of vacation leave.

As the Iowa County Auditor, Griggs received an annual salary of $45,735. Because it was an elected position, Griggs did not receive sick leave or vacation time.

The Iowa County Assessor has a term of six years.

Iowa County Supervisor Chair Linda Yoder, who is also chair of the Iowa County Conference Board, said the average salary for assessors in the State of Iowa is a little over $58,000. Hudepohl, the former Iowa County Assessor, received a salary of $52,523.

Griggs said her first duty as assessor will be to send out the assessment rolls by April 15. She said the deputy assessor position is currently open, and she will work to fill that position. Another employee in the assessor’s office plans to retire in two months, and Griggs said she will have to find someone to fill that position as well.

Griggs will also continue to help out in the auditor’s office.

The supervisors intend to appoint Iowa County Deputy Auditor Kristen Miller to serve as the interim auditor until an auditor is elected in the November general election.

UPDATED March 16, 2010 1:38 PM

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