BLUE EARTH - Lynn Krachmer just wants to get back to his roots.
He took the assessor's job in Faribault County to get closer to his and wife Cynthia's hometown of Austin.
"I mostly lived out in the country in Mower County," he said. "I've picked rocks and baled hay. I'm not a big-city boy.
ASSESSOR —?Lynn Krachmer looks over a book of land values. He is the new Faribault County Assessor.
"A lot of my good friends still live in Austin," he said.
In fact, he is commuting from Austin to Blue Earth while he and Cynthia look at property in the area.
"I want to have a hobby farm and my wife is ready for a quieter life," he said.
The couple raised two children in the Twin Cities and were glad for the opportunities in the metro area, but, "It's nice to be in a different situation. I'm very excited," Krachmer said.
He was an appraiser in Minneapolis for three years and in Fridley for nine, but he has been preparing for a move for a long time.
Being an appraiser requires continuing education and Krachmer has taken 50 credits in four years for the Professional Assessment Certification and Education (PACE) course, concentrating on classes with an agricultural background.
Over the years, Krachmer has built up his accreditation in the field, earning licenses as Certified Minnesota Assessor, Accredited Minnesota Assessor and Senior Accredited Minnesota Assessor.
"I've been trying to get a county assessor's job for about five, six years now," he said.
An assessor has to have the same knowledge as an appraiser, but assessors look at the data and decide to increase or decrease property values accordingly, he said.
"An appraiser does one property at a time," Krachmer said. "Assessors do mass appraisals and values."
What they don't do is taxes.
"That's in the Auditor's Office," said Krachmer. "We put values on property."
Krachmer will oversee the Assessor's Office. Its staff includes Steve Robbins, Gertrude Johnson and Sue Cory. Robbins assesses ag land while Johnson assesses residential property. Cory is the administrative secretary.
"The staff is good; the office seems to be working well," Krachmer said.
He will assess commercial property, which he did in the Twin Cities, and he plans to go with Robbins to observe.
"I need to learn more about ag; I want to be a more well-rounded assessor," Krachmer said.
Krachmer plans to extend his appointment, which runs through the end of the year, and put down new roots. He wants to get to know the area and the people.
"I like people," he said. "When you are an assessor, you have to have good rapport and skills with people. Listening to them is the most important thing. Answer honestly. Make sure everyone is assessed equally and fairly."