Green River Star -

By DAVID MARTIN
Editor 

Assessor plans retirement

 

January 3, 2018



It’s never easy saying goodbye; and for Sweetwater County Assessor Pat Drinkle, she’ll say goodbye to her staff Feb. 3.

Drinkle announced her intent to retire Tuesday morning, submitting a letter to the Sweetwater County Commissioners and in a press release to area media outlets.

“We’re just going to enjoy life,” Drinkle said about her future plans. “You never know what will happen ... I don’t want to just not take advantage of spending time with my family.”

Drinkle has served as county assessor for nearly six years. She was initially appointed to fill the unexpired term for Dave Rauzi, the former county assessor who retired February, 2012. Drinkle won an election bid in 2014 and would have needed to run later this year if she wanted to continue serving.

For now, things will run as they have. Once Drinkle vacates her position, the commissioners will notify the Sweetwater County Democratic Party, which will then select three possible replacements for Drinkle and forward that list back to the commissioners, who will vote on their preferred replacement from that list.

Whomever Drinkle’s replacement is will have to run for election this year if they decide they’d like to stay in office.

Drinkle has worked in the county assessor’s office since February 1991, when she was hired after Rauzi took office. Drinkle said she and her husband moved back to the area when he took a job at Tenneco Soda Ash, now Solvay Chemicals. Drinkle worked her way up through the office, eventually becoming the chief deputy under Rauzi.

While working at the assessor’s office, Drinkle said one of her biggest accomplishments was helping create a digital map system of the county, detailing land ownership across the more than 10,400-square miles within the county. The map was a mandate Rauzi undertook when he was elected and it was behind schedule when Drinkle was headed up the assessor’s office side of the project, which also included the county mapper and the land records office.

“This was a group effort,” Drinkle said.

Drinkle helped research and verify each individual land owner in the county for the project, assigning each section a property identification number.

Another project she was happy to participate in involved computerizing the county’s taxing process with oil and gas wells.

Before that, taxes on each well within the county was calculated by hand.

Thinking back to her interview with Rauzi, Drinkle said she would have never imagined becoming the county’s assessor.

“You never know what life will bring,” she said.

 

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