Supes appoint Spears as Placer assessor

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Retired Placer County assessor Bruce Dear’s choice as successor was chosen Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors over a field of 12 other applicants. Assistant Assessor Kristen Spears was given the nod by the board after four of five supervisors named her their first choice in an open poll during Tuesday’s meeting. She was due to be sworn in later in the day, filling a post vacated by Dear on Oct. 17 after he retired for health reasons. Supervisors Bruce Kranz, Robert Weygandt, Kirk Uhler and Rocky Rockholm named Spears as their first choice after hearing from candidates and considering their qualifications. Supervisor Jim Holmes chose Kevin Eckard, who is currently chairman of the county Assessment Appeals Board. Spears, who has served as assistant assessor for the past four years, is a Foresthill resident. She has a business administration degree, as well as advanced appraisal and auditor-appraiser certification. Spears is appointed to fill out the remainder of Dear’s term and faces an election in 2010. Spears told supervisors she won’t be content to rest on previous accomplishments but plans to lead the department forward in new directions, with an emphasis on enhanced training and career development. Dear, who served 18 years as assessor before stepping down, spoke at Tuesday’s meeting in support of Spears. As both retired assessor and former president of the statewide assessors association, Dear said Spears was the best candidate and had an “unqualified endorsement.” Dear praised Spears for her people skills, customer service abilities and management skills. Besides Eckard and Spears, others who put their name in for the job were: retired U.S. Bank regional manager Wayne Nader, retired Placer County assessor’s managing appraiser Omer Stiff, self-employed insurance broker Edward Martini, Moore’s Engine Service chief financial officer Patricia Moore, CB Richard Ellis appraiser Christina Manley, Prophet Financial CEO John Evpak, Sacramento County supervising real property appraiser Jarrett Stedifor, state Board of Equalization senior tax counsel Thomas Hudson, Auburn Heritage Construction co-owner Laurene Riley, county redevelopment program coordinator Steven Brown, and retired Placer County chief appraiser Warren Burns. According to recent county Personnel Department records, the top-end salary for county assessor is $154,000. The top end salary for assistant assessor is $133,000. The Journal’s Gus Thomson can be reached by