When the South Bend Tribune headline reads, "St. Joseph County assessor not seen in office for weeks," one can be fairly confident it’s going to be an interesting story. I wasn’t disappointed.
Although the recent focus has been on townships and how their usefulness has long since gone away in most cases, the original local government efficiency recommendations from the Kernan-Shepard Commission also noted that county officials (like the assessor) should be appointed rather than elected. Wouldn’t that come in handy in this case?
Here’s a brief excerpt below and a link to the full story.
St. Joseph County Assessor David Wesolowski, defeated in his Democratic primary bid this spring for a seventh term, has not been at work since at least mid-April.
Wesolowski confirms that he’s been out of the office for several weeks but says he’s been taking some deserved time off.
"He’s been in hiding," said Dennis Dillman, a member of the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals, which operates out of the same office as Wesolowski on the third floor of the County-City Building.
Reached by cell phone Friday, Wesolowski explained that he took time off in April to campaign and that he has been on vacation since "for health purposes and everything else, too."
"I’m entitled to that," he said, adding that he has kept in touch with the office by both phone and e-mail and even visited there Wednesday afternoon.
As an elected official, Wesolowski is not required by state law to work a certain number of hours or to report the hours that he does work. He receives no set number of vacation days, personal days or sick days.