Former State Senator Bob Dutton immediately moved to declare his intention to run for San Bernardino County assessor when incumbent assessor Dennis Draeger on September 16 announced he will not seek reelection to the post next year.
Simultaneously, Draeger’s second-in-command, assistant assessor Dan Harp, announced that he too would be a candidate in the June 2014 election.
Draeger began with the assessor’s office in 1975, achieving the rank of chief appraiser. In November 1998, he left the assessor’s office to become the assistant tax collector in the treasurer’s office. In November 2008, Draeger returned to the assessor’s office as assistant assessor, succeeding Harlow Cameron upon his retirement. When assessor Bill Postmus resigned amid a scandal in February 2009, Draeger was appointed interim assessor and five months later appointed assessor outright by the board of supervisors in lieu of a recruitment effort. In 2010, Draeger ran for assessor and was retained by the county’s voters. At the age of 64, he said he is now intent upon retiring.
Dutton is a former Rancho Cucamonga councilman and state assemblyman as well as state senator. He is the son of wealthy land owner and developer Ted Dutton. He now is the principal in Robert Dutton & Associates, a real estate investment/asset management firm in Rancho Cucamonga.
Dutton referenced his experience in the public and private sector in stating his qualifications for the assessor’s position, noting his grounding in commercial real estate and property asset management.
Harp has been with the assessor’s office since 1980, initially serving as a residential appraiser before moving up to become a principal appraiser and then a chief appraiser. He was promoted to the level of assistant assessor in 2011 by Draeger.
The assessor monitors property values in the county and prepares property assessments upon which annual property tax bills are based.