By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 12/21/14, 3:58 PM PST |

Combined, San Bernardino County Assessor Dennis Draeger and Assistant Assessor Dan Harp have put in nearly 75 years of public service to the county.

And now, they are retiring.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors presented the two with resolutions, thanking them for their many years of service to the county and its residents.

Draeger, 65, of Yucaipa, said he plans to spend much of his newly acquired free time doting over his 23 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren, mentoring them and teaching them to fish. He plans to spend a lot more time at Lake Mead with the little ones.

But he had to admit the thought of retirement made him nervous.

“I’ve been looking forward to retirement, but the closer it gets, I got more nervous,” Drager said. “It’s a whole new chapter. I’ve been coming down here to San Bernardino for so long that it’s part of my nature, and it’s all going to change now.”

Draeger began his career with the county in 1975 as an appraiser trainee, and over the years ascended the ranks to commercial appraiser, special property appraiser, automated systems analyst, principal appraiser, and chief appraiser. In November 1998, he was appointed Assistant Tax Collector following a fraud and kickback scheme in the office involving former Treasurer Thomas O’Donnell and former county Investment Officer Sol Levin.

Draeger remained in the Tax Collector’s Office for 10 years. Then, in 2008, a scandal rocked the Assessor’s Office, prompting Draeger’s return. He was appointed assistant assessor, then assessor in 2009. In January 2011, he was elected assessor-recorder-county clerk.

Draeger said he will miss working with the many hard working and professional people he has had the pleasure to meet and forge relationships with over the years.

And the sentiments are the same for those who worked with Draeger.

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