Assessor calculates last day | RecordCourier.com

Assessor calculates last day

Assessor Doug Sonnemann jokes with East Fork Constable Paul Gilbert at a June meeting where Sonnemann was honored for his time with the county.
Kurt Hildebrand

After spending more than 30 years, Assessor Doug Sonnemann is the quietest among the county’s impending retirees.

Sonnemann didn’t seek re-election to the office he first won in 2002. He’d worked in the assessor’s office since 1988.

He won four straight terms in office, the last three unopposed.

Sonnemann is only the 13th person in Douglas County history to serve as assessor. For 60 years the office was combined with that of sheriff between 1888 and 1948.

Sonnemann is the third longest serving assessor after Harry Winkelman and Barbara Byington.

“It’s been a wonderful 30 years,” he said at a ceremony in his honor. “The scary part is how fast 30 years flies by. Your kids were nothing and then they’re growing and then they’re heading out of the house.”

Sonnemann thanked all the people he’s worked with and the friends he made while serving in the office.

One of the last Minden volunteer firefighters, Sonnemann faced many challenges during the heart of the Great Recession.

“The decline in the housing market was a special challenge that required adjustment to lower values and the resultant decrease in assessed values to reflect that decline. Every effort has been made to be responsive to the market and the affect that it has had on people’s decreasing property values.”

The same period saw reductions in staff and reorganization to save the county money.

“This resourcefulness has allowed the office to keep up with the increasing workload without a corresponding increase in staff,” he said.

New County Assessor Trent Tholen takes office on Jan. 7.