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Interim assessor boasts a wealth of experience
On Nov. 1, Chuck Neipoth took over as the interim county assessor, a position vacated after Wayne Zoller retired.
With him, Neipoth brought 17 years of experience after working in the assessor's office in Butte County. Prior to his time there, he worked for three years as an independent appraiser.
Neipoth grew up in Durham and graduated from Durham High School. He worked in construction for 5 years after finishing his associate's degree at Butte College. During that time, he married his wife, and decided that appraising was for him.
"I knew I liked construction but I didn't want to lose a finger or fall off a scaffolding," Neipoth joked.
He and his wife went back to school together, continuing their education at Chico State. It was from there that Neipoth received his degree in finance.
His wife is a fourth-grade elementary school teacher in Chico. The couple have two children, both boys, who are grown.
Neipoth would not say whether he intends to run for assessor during the upcoming election. For now, he is embracing his interim role and focusing the present.
"At this point, I am focused on getting the roll closed. I'm pretty confident the product is going to be good," Neipoth said on Monday.
Asked whether he would consider becoming a resident of Colusa, Neipoth said that it was a possibility.
"I like it here. The number of assessments is not overwhelming. The variety of assessments is new and interesting — I've got a lot to learn about gas wells, boats, planes — but it is not overwhelming."
Neipoth hopes his experience from working in Butte County will help to streamline the use of technology in Colusa County. He said that when he was looking at the position, the software that Colusa County uses for assessments was a draw.
"The thing that was attractive to me about this job was the software program was the same as I had used before. Previous experience that I have with that led me to believe I could be successful (here)," Neipoth said. "I think I can make some improvements in the way we are using technology. I think bringing my experience from Butte County, I can add my experience and further develop that."
Neipoth said that he hasn't been out in the field a lot yet, but after things settle down in the office, he will be. He also made it clear that he is placing a premium on transparency within the assessor's office — something that he claimed the staff has already been doing a good job of.
"I'm big on transparency. I think people owe it to themselves to understand how we do things. The current staff seems to be very responsive to taxpayer inquires. That's something I was pleased with coming in." Neipoth said. "We're going to come up with fair values supported by the law, but the customer service is an equal part with that. Again, I'm happy the staff is already doing that."