Billie Selby approaches his new position with excitement, but also a little trepidation, as he takes the place of somebody he considers tops in the field.
Selby, 45, of Anamosa, Iowa, will replace retiring Dave Kubik as Dubuque County’s assessor at the end of this month.
“Dave is one of the preeminent assessors in the state of Iowa,” said Selby, who has worked under Kubik in the Dubuque County assessor’s office since October 2016. “It’s a little intimidating following somebody with 40 years of experience, but I feel I have spent the last four years being tutored by one of the best there is. My goal with this is to run a similar office. I’ve worked in other offices and the attitude to serving the public is superior in Dubuque County. That is something we will try to maintain.”
Kubik will retire on March 31. He has more than 40 years’ experience with appraisals and was appointed county assessor in 2005.
“I’ve truly enjoyed my time in Dubuque County,” said Kubik, who will be 62 when he retires.
Assessors are appointed to their position by a conference board consisting of the members of the Board of Supervisors, the mayors of all incorporated cities in the county and a member from each school district within the jurisdiction, according to the Dubuque County website.
An assessor is tasked with ensuring that all residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural classes of property are assessed within their jurisdiction.
Kubik served as a deputy assessor in Clinton, Iowa, for four years before coming to Dubuque. He began serving as a Dubuque County deputy assessor in 1986. Kubik said he most enjoyed the personal interaction that came with being county assessor.
“I like talking to people,” Kubik said. “The interactions and the community are what I have always enjoyed. The taxation process is not simple to begin with, so I enjoy telling people about their options.”
Kubik said Dubuque County’s assessors office will be in good hands with his successor.
“Billie is from within my office,” he said.
Kubik said he made a point of “telling anyone anything they wanted to know” in the office.
It’s that sharing of knowledge that attracted Selby to Dubuque County.
“I started out in Linn County (in the assessor’s office) and there was an opening in Dubuque County,” Selby said.
Taking the Dubuque County position in 2016, Selby said, meant “I could mentor under the guy who gives my assessor (in Linn County) advice.”
Selby considers himself fortunate.
“When I started in the field, my goal was to be an assessor by (age) 45,” Selby said.
Kubik considers himself fortunate, too, and will remain in Dubuque County.
“I’m now a Dubuquer so I’m going to stick around,” he said. “I can’t picture myself anywhere else.”