After interviewing “six very qualified applicants” for the vacated tax assessor position, Hinsdale County Commissioner Susan Thompson announced at the Wednesday, February 1, meeting, that Luke de la Parra was the board’s unanimous choice. She dubbed him, “the candidate who was clearly the best fit to be the new Hinsdale County Tax Assessor.” De la Parra has been serving administratively as Hinsdale County’s Accounting-Budget and Human Resource director for the past year since the retirement of his predecessor, Lynn Olson. It was announced de la Parra will step into the assessor’s post in 30 days which will allow time for training of his replacement. Plans were quickly made to immediately advertise this essential vacancy. “I am super excited,” de la Parra responded happily after his appointment was approved. “I want to publically state that I am fully prepared to fulfill this two year term and hopefully beyond that.” He promised to maintain open communications and facilitate a smooth transition until his successor is fully trained. “I put a lot of work into this department, and I want to see it maintained and continue to grow.” His new position is an elected position which was vacated with two years remaining of the term with the retirement several weeks ago of the prior Hinsdale Assessor, Joan Nelson. In two years, de la Parra will have to be elected in order to retain the position. Commissioner Whinnery offered his congratulations and stated, “Our budgets are based on your outcomes. Your job is unique, necessary, and serious to our communal well-being.” Commissioner Dozier expressed a desire that de la Parra work toward becoming certified in the position. She added, “Let us know what we can do to help as training opportunities come about.” It is tentatively scheduled that de la Parra will be sworn in at the Wednesday, March 1, BOCC meeting.