Saxton resigns after 22 years


Republican Central Committee, commissioners will fill vacancy in March

Unsure of the future, Sublette County Assessor Jeness Saxton resigned from elected office during the Sublette County Commissioners’ meeting on Jan. 7. Her official last day will be Feb. 29. Saxton said she doesn’t know what she is going to do, but she will have support. After Saxton tearfully read her letter of resignation, her husband, other elected officials and friends in the audience gave her a standing ovation. “After 22 years, it’s time to do something different,” Saxton said. Saxton started in the Sublette County Assessor’s Office in 1997. She was appointed County Assessor in 2012 to fill an unexpired term. Reconfirmed by election twice, Saxton said her timing for resignation was set to ensure voters would have choices. If the position isn’t vacant before the filing period for the 2020 primary election, anyone appointed would be able to work a full two years until the 2022 election. With the vacancy happening before that, anyone appointed must run and be approved by voters in the 2020 election to maintain the job. “I wanted to make sure voters get their say,” Saxton said during an interview following the announcement. “The departure date was determined through careful and critical evaluation of the needs of Sublette County’s levying entities (schools, health care district, service and improvement districts, etc.) property owners and registered voters,” Saxton said in her letter of resignation. “I leave my office in excellent standing, with all of my experienced staff permanently certified by the State of Wyoming as Property Tax Appraisers,” she added. “Though I stand ready to assist as needed, I feel that it is time for me to explore new opportunities.” Commission Chairman David Burnett thanked Saxton for her thoughtfulness as to the timing. Commissioner Mack Rawhouser said, “Happiness is a choice and whatever is in your future you will do well.” By Holly Dabb [email protected] Commissioners Tom Noble and Doug Vickrey both said they will miss her. Saxton said she will remain in the community. Unsure what she will do after Feb. 29, Saxton said her husband has always supported her, like sitting by her when she resigned. “I don’t know if he knew he would actually be supporting me,” she laughed. As assessor, she said the part of the job that she enjoyed the most was working with veterans to ensure they received the appropriate discounts for their service. The least favorite were the tax protests. “You try to make everyone happy, and sometimes you just can’t,” Saxton said. Once the position is vacant, Wyoming statutes dictate Sublette County Commissioners “shall immediately notify in writing the chairman of the county central committee for the political party which the last incumbent represented.” Saxton is a registered Republican. The chairman is then required call a meeting of the county’s central committee within 15 days of receiving the notice. The committee must select three names of persons “qualified to fill the vacancy.” The qualifications include the person must be a registered voter and own real property in Sublette County. Before taking the oath of office, the selected candidate must be bonded. Within five days of receiving the names, commissioners “shall fill the vacancy by appointment of one of the three to hold the office.” Not wanting to influence the selection of her replacement, Saxton said, “I know there are people in my office that are qualified and a couple are considering it.” The pay for Sublette County Assessor is $7,742.31 a month. “Ultimately, I want to thank the voters who have supported me,” Saxton said.

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