For years, Dan Powell has had a sign on his computer in the San Juan County Assessor’s office that reads: “You have a yearning for perfection” and he has applied that ambition to creating maps that are infinitely more accurate than the paper maps that were being phased out when he joined the office in 1996. Now, after 12 years of service, he is leaving the County’s employ to join a local real estate firm.
“This is the longest I’ve worked in any one place in my life and I’ve enjoyed it,” he told the San Juan County Council on May 20. The Council honored Powell with a certificate and a large map of the islands marking some of his favorite places which – on the map – had been renamed in his honor.
Assessor Charles Zalmanek, recalls that Powell took over the County’s three year old “GIS” mapping program in 1999 and was instrumental in completing the transition to the new system which, among its many advantages, has enabled the County to make maps and tax parcel information available via the Internet.
“He has been a true public servant,” said Zalmanek. “He has served the needs of the lowliest and richest taxpayer equally with the same smile and good service for 12 years. We’re going to miss him.”
Powell will be joining the San Juan Title Insurance Company. His duties will include handling its legal document recording with the County Auditor’s office, which means he will still be a familiar presence at the County Courthouse.