Dean of Washington state’s county assessors, Jefferson’s Jack Westerman, to retire

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PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County Assessor Jack Westerman III plans to retire Jan. 1, one year shy of the end of his ninth term.

Westerman presented a brief letter of resignation to the county commissioners today.

Westerman, 62, first elected in 1978 when Jimmy Carter was in the White House, is both the longest-serving Jefferson County elected official and the longest-serving county assessor in Washington state.

Westerman, a Democrat, said he is giving three months notice to allow for the selection of his replacement and to have time to train that person before he retires.

Because the assessor’s is a partisan office, the Jefferson County Democratic Party will select three names from a list of applicants that will be presented to the commissioners, who will then select one to serve out the remainder of Westerman’s term.

Democratic Party Chair George Yount said the party will meet tonight to schedule the selection process, expecting that it will start as soon as possible.

Westerman is one of 20 candidates for freeholder, five of whom will serve on a board that will write a new county charter if the process is approved by the voters on Nov. 5.

Westerman said he chose to step down as assessor “because it was time for me to retire.”

After the announcement, several of Westerman’s colleagues said that his “institutional memory” and breadth of experience will be hard to replace.

Last modified: September 03. 2013 12:32PM
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