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Winter 2019 Volume 41 Number 155


Winter 2020 Volume 42 Number 159

Minneapolis: The HGTV Dream Home Giveaway From Slab to Shingle: A Step-By-Step Guide to New Home Construction

Our Photo Contest Winners Stillwater: The Austin T. Jenks House

and much more!






Lori Thingvold, SAMA Wright County Managing Editor

Jason Jorgensen, SAMA Wadena County Associate Editor Committee Chair

Jamie Freeman, SAMA Clearwater County

Nancy Gunderson SAMA Clay County

Executive Officers President Daryl Moeller, SAMA st 1 Vice President Patrick Chapman, SAMA 2nd Vice President Ryan Rasmussen, SAMA Financial Officer Kyle Holmes, SAMA Past President Michelle Moen, SAMA Regional Directors Region 1 Ryan DeCook, SAMA Region 2 Mike Sheplee, SAMA Region 3 Jean Sowada-Popp, SAMA Region 4 Mike Dangers, SAMA Region 5 Anne Grunert, SAMA Region 6 Doug Bruns, SAMA Region 7 Chris Odden, SAMA Region 8 Terrie Johnson, SAMA Region 9 Michele Gelo, AMA Committee Chairs Agricultural Mark Koehn, CMA CAMA and GIS Randy Lahr, SAMA Conference Coordinator Paul Knutson, SAMA, RES Editorial

Jake Pidde, AMA Stearns County

Amber Hill, AMA Polk County

Information Systems

Michael Neimeyer, CMA


Mark Peterson, SAMA

Membership Coordinator

Rebecca Malmquist, SAMA, RES

Nominating and Procedures Residential Rules and Resolutions Sales Ratio Scholarship Secretary Silent Auction Site Selection

Mike Bjork, AMA Washington County

Missy Manke Wright County

Jason Jorgensen, SAMA

Strategic Planning

Michelle Snobl, AMA

Jill Murray, SAMA Daryl Moeller, SAMA Dell Sanko, CMA Carrie Borgheiinck, SAMA Penny Vikre, SAMA Lorna Sandvik, SAMA Lisa Clarke, CMA Nancy Wojcik, SAMA

Summer Seminar Coordinator

Kim Jensen, SAMA, CAE

Ann Miller, SAMA Reed Heidelberger, SAMA Educational Workgroups Tax Court / Valuations

Questions, comments or suggestions? Please email


Assessor Development Course Management

Patrick Chapman, SAMA

Course Curriculum & Standards

Tina Diedrich-Von Eschen, SAMA Sherri Kitchenmaster/Jessi Glancey, SAMA

Education Coordinator/Online Admin.


Winter 2020/Equal Eyes

Jackie Coulter

From Slab to Shingle A Step-By-Step Guide to New Home Construction


IN EVERY ISSUE Commissioner’s Comments Presidential Perspective Education Brief Classifieds Top 10 What You Get For Out of the Past Transitions Tax Court State Board of Assessors

Sponsored By:

4 6 7 16 17 28 29 30 32 40

Front cover photo courtesy of (Sharon Mollerus) * The statements made or opinions expressed by authors in Equal Eyes do not necessarily represent a policy position of the Minnesota Association of Assessing Officers. Winter 2020/Equal Eyes


Commissioner’s Comments

By Cynthia Bauerly MN Revenue Commissioner

Matching Coursework To Your Needs As You Climb the License Ladder Ongoing education is crucial to ensure fair and consistent property tax assessments across Minnesota. MAAO and the Department of Revenue work together to provide training the meets your needs as you start – and grow – your assessment career. The Minnesota State Board of Assessors is proposing changes to rules that will better-match education requirements with your responsibilities as you move up the licensure ladder – from Certified Minnesota Assessor (CMA), to Accredited Minnesota Assessor (AMA), to Senior Accredited Minnesota Assessor (SAMA). Specifically, the board seeks to: •

Reduce the required coursework to 75 hours (instead of 135 hours) for those taking the first step, from CMA to AMA. This change: o Provides role- and property-specific courses – such as valuing apartments, farms, and new constructions –that support AMAs in their current role while improving the overall quality of assessments across the state. o Does not require advanced administration and mass appraisal courses that focus on running an assessor’s office, which is more appropriate to SAMA-level licensure.

Require 90 hours of specific coursework for those moving from AMA to SAMA. This change: o Provides advanced administration and mass appraisal courses tailored to the higher level of responsibilities that come with the SAMA license. o Adds new management and leadership courses to provide SAMAs with the tools and resources they need to run an assessor’s office.

None of this affects the continuing education requirements that all assessors must meet each licensing cycle – 50 hours for CMAs, 60 hours for AMAs and SAMAs. The proposed changes ensure that assessors receive specific training as they grow in their jobs by: •


Increasing the total required education to 165 hours (instead of 135) for assessors moving all the way up the ladder.

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Commissioner’s Comments, continued

Making the initial transition from CMA to AMA transition – required within five years of licensure – more feasible for assessors, and more affordable for local governments that employ them.

Providing management-oriented courses at the appropriate time for those AMAs who go on to leadership positions that require a SAMA license.

Next Steps The board has requested public comments on these changes and hopes to adopt them for the next licensing cycle, which begins July 1, 2020. The board plans to publish these rule changes in the State Register – a Notice of Intent to Adopt – early this year. You can comment on the changes in writing for up to 30 days after the draft text is published, or at a public hearing if at least 25 people request one. You can find more information on the Board of Assessors website about the proposed changes, how to submit your feedback, or the rulemaking process. Go to and select Rulemaking Docket. Legislative Session The 2020 legislative session begins February 11. While this is not a budgeting year, we expect conversations over the interim will continue into session. Among them: Property tax treatment of cabins and other vacation properties that are rented out on a short-term basis. As you know, property tax classification is based on use of a property. If a property’s primary use is short-term rental, producing income, the law – and Revenue guidance – consider the property to be class 3a commercial. The number and frequency of short term rentals has increased significantly due to the growing popularity of online lodging services. This change in use may change the property’s primary use and prompt reclassification. Assessors have been working under current law to properly classify these properties. We look forward to valuable input from assessors as this conversation continues. You have been closest to this issue and any changes need to be administratively workable. We look forward to working with MAAO on this, and other, issues of mutual interest. Our relationship benefits all Minnesotans by promoting consistent administration of the property taxes that fund important local services they rely on. Cynthia Bauerly is commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

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president’s perspective By Daryl Moeller, SAMA Chisago County MAAO President “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” - Helen Keller Thank you members of MAAO for electing me as President of our great organization. I look forward to working with all the committees and the Region Directors this next year. We have a great group of people leading us and can’t be more excited to get things done. For those who don’t know me well, I have been working for Chisago County for the past 18 years. Prior to becoming an assessor, I was a high school math teacher for four years. I am married to my wife, Lisa, who is a school teacher for the North Branch School District and we have two “children”, Audrey, MSU-Moorhead graduate 2019 and Brady, a sophomore at MSU-Mankato. And it is going to be a busy year for us, as Audrey will be getting married next August. In my free time, I assist doing Local Assessing in Pine and Washington County, I announce for the North Branch soccer games, and work on a Christmas tree lot, as the man in the red suit. I also like to visit State Parks and go for hikes with Lisa, spending time with my family and being in the outdoors. Since being elected as President, we have been busy. The first thing that we did was finalize the contract with Emily Squyres, our new education coordinator. She has been working hard finalizing our 2020 educational offerings, which most are available to register for. She has been amazing to work with and is a huge asset to our organization. Another item that we have worked on already is the compensation policy for the instructors for our weeklong classes and for our instructors during our annual conferences. At our organizational Executive Board meeting, I felt we got a lot accomplished. I started off the meeting informing Region Directors and Committee Chairs what I expect from them. Communication is what I focused on. Communication during our meetings, communication between Regions and the Board, communication from Committee Chairs to the Board. And communicating from the Board back to the Regions and


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Committees. I want our committees to have goals of what they expect to accomplish this next year. We are looking at filling a few committee spots. Education Steering Committee needs one member, Curriculum and Assessor Standards could use a couple, GIS has an opening, and Tax Court needs one or two. We are looking for individuals who want to be active in these committees, attending committee meeting (mostly conference call meetings that last an hour or less), help gather information for possible classes, or to be a resource for an assessor that might have a question that your committee could help with. It does take a small amount of time to be a committee member, but the reward of knowledge and helping others is more beneficial than the time. I am excited that MAAO has approved the Family Member Scholarship. To fund this scholarship the U40/10 committee will be organizing the Summer Seminar raffle again in 2020. Implementing a few changes from the feedback we received after last Summer Seminars, they are planning on making this bigger and better. The Scholarship Committee is working with the IS committee to put an application on the MAAO website, so stay tuned to have your college students apply for this scholarship. The Scholarship committee is also getting great response to the Dan Franklin Scholarship, there are currently 46 applicants that they will be going through. Another committee that will be busy this next year is the Legislative Committee. MAAO has agreed to partner again this year with Matt Hilgart and AMC to be our legislative liaison. Work has already started, looking into dark store theory. Short term rental properties have risen to the top as an issue of concern, especially in specific parts of our state. We discussed this at our Executive Board meeting. The hard part about short term rentals is one: identifying them, and two: is determining the primary use. The conclusion we made at the meeting is to be consistent within your county.

There are plenty topics that will be discussed during the legislative session, including assessor safety, classification simplification, LBAE meeting rules, to name a few. Residential and Agriculture Committees continue to work on elective classes. Other committees continue to work on putting together seminars for our next Summer Seminars and Fall Conference. For the first time, we will be offering 2 hour seminars, to be able to get a wider spectrum of education at Summer Seminars. If you are needing your AMA by the 2022 deadline, get your education done ASAP, giving yourself time to complete the form report and the comprehensive test. Time is running short and 2022 will be here before you know it. And lastly as part of the Strategic Planning Committee I have asked Past President Michelle Moen to accept nominations for an Assessor of the Year award. To nominate someone for this award, please write a short, couple of paragraph, nominating essay that tells us why this person deserves to be Assessor of the Year. If you have questions, please contact myself or Michelle Moen. At our Executive Board meeting, we had a guest speaker, Tony Cortilet, from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, talking on the topic of hemp as an agricultural product. His presentation was very informative and it makes sense in my opinion that it should be an agricultural product. Hopefully the Department of Revenue will give us further clarification regarding hemp soon. I am extremely excited for this year as MAAO President. We have been working hard on getting great educational offerings, scholarships to give away, and legislation that can be beneficial to our profession. Please reach out to your Region Director, Committee Chairs or your Executive Officers with comments, concerns or questions. Communication takes all of us. Thanks again for allowing me to be your President. I wish you all the best, as we prepare for the upcoming appeal season.


Education Brief By Emily Squyres MAAO Education Coordinator

2020 Updates

You spoke, and we listened! Based on course attendee feedback, we are making some changes and updates to course offerings in 2020. Additional offerings: Providing excellent educational offerings is key to MAAO’s mission, which is why we are actively working towards creating new courses and reviving retired ones. In 2020, we’re excited to offer “Basic Apartment Valuation” and the newlydeveloped “Residential Assessing 101,” and there are more courses in the works to be rolled in future years. Not surprisingly, the process of developing a course takes time and many dedicated people. Do you have an elective you’d like to see offered? Perhaps you’re willing to instruct one? E-mail and let us know! Co-sponsored courses: MAAO is partnering with the Northstar Chapter of the Appraisal Institute in 2020 to co-sponsor Basic Appraisal Principles, Basic Appraisal Procedures, and USPAP. Doing this enables us to provide multiple offerings of each course throughout the year, providing assessors with more scheduling flexibility. More hotel venues: In order to streamline the day for course attendees and to help reduce the stress of driving around unfamiliar locations, we are

offering more courses at hotel venues in 2020. We work diligently to find venues that are comfortable, affordable, and conducive to learning and strive to offer courses in a variety of locations that will be accessible to assessors state-wide. Predictable food offerings: In 2020, we will offer snacks and lunch for MAAO weeklong and elective courses, and to keep registration fees lower, we will offer beverages and snacks only for all co-sponsored and external courses (i.e. IAAO, USPAP, Principles and Procedures). We hope this will bring consistency and predictability to course offerings while remaining conscientious of limited education budgets. (If you’re ever curious what to expect, this information can also be found on each course web page.) Providing a high-quality educational experience on every level is a top priority for MAAO, and we are continually looking for ways to improve your learning experience while balancing financial sustainability and practicality. AMA Deadline Support Are you under the 2022 deadline to achieve your AMA license? We want to help you

track your education so you cross the finish line well in advance of the deadline. It’s recommended that you complete all your courses before January 2021 and reports, exams, and designations by July 2021 to allow adequate time for grading. MAAO has developed a handy worksheet that can help you track your progress. Find it at the end of this article and on MAAO’s Website under “Education and Events.” Get Involved High-quality education relies on great instructors, and we are always looking for MAAO members who are interested in instructing new or existing courses! Do you have a special topic you’re passionate about? Do you find yourself researching and educating your colleagues about a particular issue, practice, or element of assessing? We can connect you with experienced instructors who will help train you, so you won’t be in it alone! Instructing an MAAO educational offering not only enriches those around you, it boosts your resume, connects you with others in the field, deepens your knowledge and expertise, and provides generous compensation for your time. If you’re interested or want to learn more, e-mail

Winter 2020/Equal Eyes



Winter 2020/Equal Eyes

UPDATE By Amanda Lee 2019-2020 MAAP President

Greetings MAAO Members! The year has quickly flown by. The 2019 Minnesota Association of Assessment Personnel (MAAP) Winter Meeting was graciously hosted by Olmsted County on December 6, 2019 at the Zumbro Valley Golf Course in Mantorville, MN. This year we changed things for our Winter Meeting by adding the option to obtain Continuing Education Hours and extending an invite to MAAO; I feel it was a great change and I heard others agreed. The topic of our meeting was Agricultural Homestead which qualified those in attendance for 3 CEH credits – we had a great turnout! Jessi & Eben did a wonderful job facilitating the meeting. I strongly encourage MAAP participation of all administrative staff in each county. We always have topics of discussion pertaining to some aspect of our jobs. The networking opportunity is an added bonus too! It’s great to be able to talk and learn from other peers who are doing the same job as you. It could only benefit your office and county. Looking forward, the 2020 MAAP Summer Workshop will be held August 13th & 14th in St. Cloud. If you or someone else in your office are not a current MAAP member and would like to become one, the annual MAAP membership fee is $10. You may contact me for more details. Amanda Lee 2019-2020 MAAP President

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From Slab to Shingle

From Slab To Shingle A Step-By-Step Guide to New Home Construction

ed Sponsor


By Jason Jorgensen, SAMA Wadena County Equal Eyes Asscociate Editor 10

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Floor Joist Set / Sub-Floor 4%

After the basement walls are complete, the carpenters will come in and start the first stage of framing the home. This step of the process goes relatively fast, and is a critical structural step before the home is backfilled around the exterior of the foundation. The term used here is “cap the basement” and is where the floor joists are set into place on top of the basement walls. Then a plywood layer called the subfloor is glued and nailed down on top of the joists creating the “cap”. Now the foundation is ready for waterproofing and the drain tile can be installed. At this point the home is ready to be backfilled and the site can be leveled up.


s someone ventures into the process of building a new home, there are many things to consider before the first shovel full of dirt is moved. Some of the key points to consider would be soil type, elevation, ground slope, house style, and budget. Is the composite make-up of the ground sand or clay? Is the elevation high enough to have proper drainage? What type of building style works for the lay of the land? How much money will the project cost? The ideal soil type would have a mixture of sand, clay, and some silt, void of any large rocks. This soil packs nice and even and still allows for good drainage along the sides of the foundation. Soils that are made up of primarily clay or silt, hold too much water and lead to foundation and basement wall cracking as the soils move around during different seasons. The ideal elevation for any home gets it up and out of the high water table so that there would not be any issues with water seepage through the foundation walls or slab of the home. Is the building site located on a hill to allow for a walkout basement, or is the building site flat and suitable for a slab / basement home. There are many aspects to a home that will affect the overall cost, such as: house type, story height, size, cabinetry, heating / cooling components, and trim levels. Once all of the above has been determined, the building process can finally begin.

Excavation 2%

The building process starts with site excavation, this is where the trees and

stumps are removed from the site, making sure there is adequate room for the well, septic, yard, and the space where the home will eventually sit. The excavators will dig the hole for the septic and the foundation of home, and typically set the dirt aside in a pile to backfill around the foundation once it is done. The excavators will use a transit to make sure that the bottom hole is flat and level throughout the expanse of the entire area that will hold the foundation and basement slab.

Foundation 7%

Next, the concrete crew will come in and make any necessary final adjustments to the soil height, making sure that the ground is packed and solid. Then they set the forms for the perimeter foundation of the home. This is also where the plumbers come in and place the waste lines to exit the home into the sewer system. If the home has in floor heat in the slab, this is also the stage where the glycol tubing lines are installed so the concrete can be poured over the top of them. Once the foundation / slab is poured and allowed to cure for a day or so the forms are removed and the basement walls are started.

Framed / Sheathed / Shingled 14%

Now the home is really going to take shape fast, the walls are framed up and sheathing (plywood) is nailed to exterior walls. Once the walls are structurally sound the framing of the roof is started. The roof trusses are carefully set into place and braced diagonally to avoid any of them from tipping over. Once they are all set the fascia boards tie all the trusses together, while creating the bottom edge of the roof line. The roof sheathing is then nailed down over the trusses, tying the whole roof system together. This step is followed by some type of roof cover such as shingles or steel panels being installed over the top of the sheathing. At this point, the home is approximately 27% complete and makes up the basic “shell” of the home.

Windows / Doors / Siding 11%

Now it is time to weather proof and close in the exterior walls of the home with the installation of windows, doors, house wrap,

Winter 2020/Equal Eyes


flashing and siding. Here is where the home may looked finished from the exterior but Mechanical 20% there are still many things to do on the inside Now that the home is sealed up contractors will come and do their “rough ins�. Plumbers of the home before it becomes livable. will set their piping inside the walls and install tubs / showers. Electricians will run wiring to light switches, outlets and set the circuit breaker panel in place. HVAC will then show up and run heat vents, cold air returns and set the furnace in place. This is also where the audio visual team comes in and runs surround sound and other entertainment system setups. This completes another major step in the building process and the home is now just over half way complete at 58%

Insulation / Sheetrock Finished 12%

Now that all the mechanicals are done the walls can be insulated and vapor barriers can be put in place. Many homes use yellow or


Winter 2020/Equal Eyes

pink fiberglass batt insulation that is stuffed between the exterior studs and then plastic

Flooring / Finishing Touches 11% sheeting is stapled over it to create a seamless vapor barrier. This barrier helps prevent the diffusion of moisture from point of contact where hot and cold meet at the walls or ceilings. However, some of the newer homes are choosing to use a

interior doors are set in place, immediately followed by all the trim work. This brings the home to approximately 80% complete.

Mechanical Finishes 9%

After all these items have been finished the plumbers come back to hook up the waste lines into the sewer, set toilets, set faucets, and finish all the other hook ups required for a final plumbing inspection. The electricians will do similar and make sure that power is ran to all items that require power, finishing with the outlets and switches, making sure that it will all pass the final inspection as well. The HVAC system will also be finished up at this stage.

The home is almost done at this point. Here is where the flooring contractors come in and install the finish floor coverings. Walls are painted, door knobs and hardware are installed, and all other finishing touches are completed. Any miscellaneous touch ups to the exterior is also completed such as: paint, porches, decks, patios, landscaping, etc. This brings the home to 100% complete and the keys are turned over to the owner. This is a basic step by step completion guideline for new home construction used for assessment purposes. At designated times of this process, many of these steps are done simultaneously by numerous sub-contractors that specialize in a specific aspect of the home.


spray in cellular foam, which is an excellent insulator as well as a vapor barrier due to its molecular design. The walls and ceilings are then finished with some type of panel such as; sheetrock, wood, steel, etc. as per the homeowners request.

Cabinets / Trim / Doors 10%

At this point the home is ready for cabinets, typically a specialized team will come in and set all the cabinets and vanities throughout the home. The plywood floors will be prepped with some type of underlayment that is respective to the type of final flooring to be installed whether it be carpet, tile, linoleum, or something else. Then all the

Winter 2020/Equal Eyes


From Footings to Finish Photo Contest Winners

1st Place Connor Rausch Stearns County 14

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2ND PLace




Classifieds 206 W Willow Ave Frazee, MN 56544

By Amber Hill, AMA Polk County Editorial Committee Member

$248,900 205 W Willow Ave Frazee, MN 56544 $248,900

Home for sale on Town Lake, featured on HGTV “Lakefront Bargain Hunt”. Property is approximately 1,120 square foot home with basement finish located on an approximately 24,829 square foot lot. House is 4+ bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 kitchens, and fireplace. 140’ of Lake Front. 2018 Assessment Land Value: $88,300.00 Building Value: $74,500.00 Total Taxes for 2019: $1,926.00 Assessment & tax information provided by Becker County website. Listing information provided by Coldwell Banker Preferred Partners (this listing has since been removed).


Winter 2020/Equal Eyes

The Top 10 iconic decades for mobile homes

ed By:


Manufactured Homes, formerly known as mobile homes, have changed significantly over the years. A manufactured home is a prefabricated structure built in a factory on a permanently attached chassis before transported to a site. Interestingly, manufactured homes share the same historic origins as travel trailers.

1500’s No, that is not a typographical error. The first examples of mobile homes can be traced as far back as the 1500’s, to the wandering gypsies in Europe who traveled with their horsedrawn mobile homes. These gypsy homes were often elaborate with artisan carpentry and even chimneys.

1870’s Several articles on mobile home history claim that the first mobile homes in America were small cottages on the Outer Banks region of North Carolina around 1870. Horses would move these little beach houses back and forth a few feet to avoid high ties. Although others claim that technically, because these small dwellings were not built on a chassis, they really weren’t mobile homes, just merely moveable.

1920’s Mobile homes as we know them today started as automobile-pulled trailers or “Trailer Coaches”. They were designed as a home away from home and were typically used for camping trips. The very first models were homemade and contained no indoor plumbing.

By Jamie Freeman, SAMA Clearwater County Editorial Committee Member

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Top 10

iconic decades for mobile homes, continued

Arthur G. Sherman is credited as the first to create a mobile home in a factory via an assembly line. As such, Mr. Sherman is considered the father of the mobile home. In 1929, he invested $10,000 and rented a garage to begin building trailers under the name The Covered Wagon. Five years later Sherman’s Covered Wagon Company was manufacturing 1,000 trailers a month. The image on the right shows the first camper ever built by Mr. Sherman in 1929. The Detroit Historical Society has this camper in its collection.

(Icebox and sink from a 1939 Covered Wagon Trailer)

1940’s The trailers eventually evolved into “mobile homes”. During WWII, production increased as the U.S. government purchased mobile homes so transient workers could live near plants. Later, after WWII, these bread loaf shaped dwellings filled the demand for a quick and affordable housing option for soldiers returning home to their families. By the mid-1940’s, mobile homes averaged a width of 8 feet and 20 feet in length. They had up to three and sometimes four separate sleeping sections, but no bathrooms. By the late 1940’s, the length of mobile homes had increased to more than 30 feet and small bathrooms were added. Some people began making them their permanent homes.


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Top 10

iconic decades for mobile homes, continued

1950’s During the 1950’s, the mobile home industry showed unparalleled growth and innovative designs. At one time, there were hundreds of mobile home builders competing against each other. Builders began to display their product through large mobile home expos and trade shows. The 1954 Tri-level Pacemaker was one of the designs that received a lot of interest and orders. The bi-level and tri-level mobile homes were so popular that several different companies built them. 1954 was also the year that mobile homes became wider, from 8’ to 10’, due to a change in highway restrictions. The extra two feet allowed for a hallway in the home, which in turn provided privacy and a more homelike feel.

1960’s Back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, mobile homes were considered a hot housing trend. The American Dream could be had: affordable, fully furnished, and in style… if you wanted to buy a mobile home. Unique mobile home designs continued to hit the market. New models coming off the line featured up-front kitchens. Doublewides make a debut. Two-section mobile homes became popular and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) develops construction standards for mobile homes.

Winter 2020/Equal Eyes


Top 10

iconic decades for mobile homes, continued

1970’s During the 1970’s, one mobile home was built for every three site-built homes. The new 14’ x 70’ size makes its debut. In June of 1976, the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Code regulations went into effect due to Congress implementing the National Mobile Home Construction and Safety Act. This was necessary to hold the industry to a higher standard and to ensure that the mobile homes were safer and better made.

1980’s In 1980, congress approved changing the term “mobile home” to “manufactured home”. HUD code was successful in creating a better home with minimum energy and building standards. They weren’t necessarily considered mobile – it took specialty equipment and a licensed installer to transport manufactured homes so the word mobile no longer fit. Manufactured homes continue to be factory built and must conform to a federal building code. Popular features of manufactured homes built in the 1980’s were: o o o o o o

Open floor plans. Cathedral ceilings. Kitchen islands and island stoves. Pantries in the kitchen. Carpeted bathrooms. Huge garden bathtubs.

1990’s In 1991 the National Manufactured Housing Federation (NMHF) became a part of the Manufactured Housing Institute (MHI). The MHI is the only national trade organization representing all segments of the factory-built housing industry. MHI members include home builders, retailers, community operators, lenders, suppliers and affiliated state organizations. In the 1990’s, thanks to improvements in design and quality and greater availability of credit, manufactured home sales exploded. Sales jumped from 171,000 in 1991 to 363,000 in 1996.


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Top 10

iconic decades for mobile homes, continued

2010s Gone is most of the stigma formally associated with manufactured homes. As a result of the HUD laws re-instated in the 1970s and the competitive housing market, manufacturers continue to step up their quality in design and construction technique. Manufactured homes are home to millions. They are affordable and they give us the opportunity to quickly and efficiently set up a home. Today, there are triple wide manufactured homes and even two-story homes built on a chassis. They grew from the country’s desire for freedom and they continue to meet the demands of today’s consumer.


Summer Seminars

May 20-21 Winter 2020/Equal Eyes


HGTV Presents

Hygee Urban Oasis 2019

By Daniel Ayer, CMA City of Minneapolis 22

Winter 2020/Equal Eyes


he Urban Oasis Dream Home Giveaway started in 2010 after the continuing popularity of Home and Garden TV’s dream home giveaway that began in 1997. HGTV selected a renovation project in Minneapolis in the Hiawatha neighborhood for the 2019 giveaway. The location of the property faces the Minnehaha park and is near events, shopping and restaurants making it a perfect fit for the Urban Oasis giveaway theme of trendy urban communities. This 99-year-old home went from fading into the background of the neighborhood as it aged to a revitalized highlight, with the modern Scandinavian farmhouse design. The simple theme of hygge (who-ga) can be found throughout the renovation. Hygge is Danish and means “to comfort” and is related to the English word hug. Each element of this project was designed to bring warmth into an often-cold modern style. A key element to the feeling of hygge is to make the most of each space. When this is done right you don’t need 4000 square feet to accommodate all the modern needs of a family. This prime location called for the porch to be redesigned to soak in the view of the Minnehaha park, adding in larger factory style black windows that opened the view. The natural wood finish porch upgrade parts way with the former functional concrete porch to bring warmth combining a classic farmhouse feel with modern style. This theme continues in the backyard to the added porch and windows on the 2story addition. This, among a number of additional exterior updates are all meant to incorporate an inviting atmosphere that brings family and friends together. The open concept breaks the mold and features open shelf space and built in appliances instead of seating on the 10-foot kitchen island. With the ultimate goal of maximizing the space available, built-ins and not doubling up utilized space by creating both a formal and informal dining area made the most sense. Once again, you’ll notice the inside keeps the same color palate of black, white and wood. The Nordic influences are found from furniture and accessories to a framed Scandinavian tapestry. A lot of the design boils down to taste and while it may be a bit much for some, this is also what separates this property to all the other updated homes in the area.

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This property sold for $320,000 in late 2018 and has an approximate retail value (ARV) of $716,200. The ARV includes all components of the giveaway and is determined by a variety of sponsors. Looking for comparable properties in the Hiawatha neighborhood proved to be challenging as the subject includes a number of unique updates and features customized for national television flair. A few comparable properties reviewed include 4544 43rd Ave S (sold for $575,200), 4444 43rd Ave S (sold for $572,000) and 4314 Nawadaha Blvd (sold for $465,000) in the Hiawatha neighborhood, however in comparing properties the smallest gross adjustment was 16%. This put the property between $561,400 and $612,000. With the median adjusted value at $592,000, if the personal property were to be valued at around $100,000 this would be in line with the ARV HGTV had quoted. The ARV using a collaboration of multiple sponsors to determine value of everything included in this giveaway was not intended reflect what a market value, rather a combination of costs to sponsors without consideration for market changes. The HGTV Urban Oasis Giveaway home design makes a bold modern statement while holding onto a historic culture. The Scandinavian farmhouse in an urban setting, looking on to Minnehaha park pulls at the roots of what being a Minnesotan is about, whether it rural, urban, from the past or modern you will feel all the elements in this dwelling one lucky family will soon call home.EE




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Captain austin t. jenks house stillwater, mn

By Missy Manke Wright County Editorial Committee Member

River. From school teacher to prominent business man. Originally born in New York City, Austin T. Jenks attended and taught school in his native area until he was 21. He migrated west to Illinois, and later to Stillwater in 1855. He began working as a riverboat pilot, helping with the transport of lumber up and down the St Croix

In 1871, he became a ship owner and commissioned and put into service the “Brother Jonathan�. Which was only the second steamboat to be engaged in timber rafting on the Upper Mississippi River. In 1874, Jenks sold the steamer to the logging firm Durant, Wheeler and Company, as well as becoming a member of

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the firm and stayed in that business until 1887. After that time, he remained engaged in the logging and lumbering operations until his death. Jenks later became a financier. In company with Captain E.W.

Bennett, his third wife and reportedly the sister of his first, he had two Durant and W.J. Horn, he was daughters, Genora and Grace. Jenks largely instrumental in organizing the last business interest was J.O. Holen Stillwater Electric Light Company, & Co., a retail and wholesale grocer, originally established with the in which he was a partner until his intention to furnish power from the death. St Croix Lumber Company sawmills in South Stillwater (now Bayport). In 1880, Jenks built this 1 ½ story He also served as director, Stillwater home with a 2 ½ story tower which Dock Company. Both companies has an unusual combination of being Stillwater’s leading banks. architectural styles. The bracketed square entry bay and cruciform roofline are elements of Italianate architecture while the platform porches, oval stained glass window, and mansard roof on the tower come from Second Empire architecture; the steep  gables,  finials, stone  window sills and lintels, and detail on the eaves all signal Gothic Revival

He also served as president of the Stillwater Board of Education and on various other managing boards. He married three times, his first two wives having died early. With Harriet


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architecture. In 1886, the Jenks homes was fitted with incandescent electric lamps. Jenks died in March 1902 at the age of 68. The house remained in the family for another two decades. Genora and her husband, Robert Skeith, emigrated to Canada in 1916, while Harriet and Grace relocated to Seattle in 1920. The house passed through a secession of owners, and from the 1950s to the 1970s, the house was subdivided into separate apartments. A later owner has since restored it to a single-family home. EE

Assessor Crossword Sales Ratio

Answers found in the back of this issue

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What You Get For

Under $50,000

By Amber Hill, AMA Polk County Editorial Committee Member

1207 3rd Ave NW Austin, MN (Mower County) Sold for $40,000 in August 2019 2 Bedrooms / 1 Bath Built in 1938

807 County Road 8 Ormsby, MN (Martin County) Sold for $47,000 in August 2019 2 Bedrooms / 1.5 Bath Built in 1977


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208 Butler St SE Verndale (Wadena County) Sold for $48,500 in August 2019 1 Bedroom / 1.75 Bath Built in 1920

329 Oak St Clearbrook, MN (Clearwater County) Sold for $49,000 in August 2019 3 Bedrooms / 1 Bathroom Built in 1910

out of the past Remembering Yesterday

5 Years Ago—2015 •

MAAO’s executive board approved a new organizational structure related to the association’s education and assessor development efforts. January 30, husband and wife John and LuAnn Hagen both retired from careers in the assessment field.

25 Years Ago—1995 •

Marty Schmidt retired form Crow Wing County after twenty-five years of service as Assessor. Snowstorm hits Minneapolis with 17 inches of snow causing the Metrodome roof to collapse.

15 Years Ago—2005 •

109 registrants went to the brand new Residential Case Study Exam Workshop. Steve Behrenbrinker ran for second Vice President of MAAO.

20 Years Ago—2000 • •

Average price per gallon of gas is $1.26. The dreaded Y2K bug does not cause worldwide problems that had been predicted.

Wayne Budde retired from Lyon County as Assessor after twenty-three years of service

45 Years Ago – 1975 • •

30 Years Ago – 1990 • • •

10 Years Ago—2010 •

By Amber Hill, AMA Polk County Editorial Committee Member

Gene Fitterer retired from Meeker County. Average price per gallon of gas is $1.34. The Hubble Space Telescope launched into orbit.

35 Years Ago – 1985 •

Marlin Danielson hired as Aitkin County Assessor taking over for Jerry Lundberg. TWA Flight 847 is hijacked by Hezbollah on June 14. Blizzard hits with 6 to 24 inches of snowfall. Duluth reported winds to 90 mph, and huge multi-story drifts.

40 Years Ago - 1980 •

• •

The wet lands committee looked extensively into acreage qualifications. Average price per gallon of Gas $1.19 Last iron ore shipment leaves the Cuyuna iron range.

Robert Meyers takes a job in Milwaukee Wisconsin. The last American military personnel leave Vietnam with the evacuation of the United States embassy in Saigon, completely ending American involvement in Vietnam and the Vietnam War. 1,053 Minnesotans gave their lives over the course of the war.

80 Years Ago – 1940 •

The Armistice Day Blizzard strikes Minnesota leaving a 16.8 inches of snow in twenty four hours. Winds that day exceed thirty two miles per hour with gusts over sixty miles per hour. Forty-nine Minnesota residents die and over $1,500,000 US worth of property is damaged as a result of the storm.

120 Years Ago – 1900 •

Virginia, Minnesota destroyed by fire again.

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transitions Best Wishes Upon Retirement

By Nancy Gunderson, Clay County Editorial Committee Member

Wayne Knutson Swift County Wayne began work in the assessing field as a local assessor for township in 1978 while farming. Continued farming through the 80’s and working part time with school district to try to make ends meet.  An opportunity opened for full time employment (paycheck AND benefits) with Swift County and Wayne was lucky enough to be hired. He started full time on February 28, 1993.  And has been here ever since.  He has enjoyed meeting and working with all, well just about all, the variety of people associated with the assessment field.  Wayne has many diverse interests that will occupy his time after retirement.  Primary will be attending functions and activities for his six grandkids of ages from 1 to 11.  They are from his three children, 2 daughters who are both nurses and one son who is in construction management. Other interests that will also be filling his time include a jeep addiction…or affliction.  One of his first projects to complete is going to be making a tow vehicle to haul the trail jeep to the mountain trails to explore.  Wayne also does some knife making, blacksmithing, leather tooling, gun making, wood working, home improvement, and learning new “old school” crafts. He really hasn’t thought about spare time.  Might have to hire help to get in the fishing and maybe even travelling. Wayne thanks everyone for the friendships developed, help given, and laughs shared.  Best of success to ALL from Wayne. We wish you – Wayne, all the best too.

Congratulations, Wayne! 30

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Jim Borrett Wright County

So, here I am, at the end of my career with retirement in just a few days. Retirement is something you think about, but when it arrives, you’ll look back and wonder, where did all the time go!   After 6 years in Todd County, I made the move to Wright County and have been the City of Buffalo Assessor for the past 19 years.  As I clean out my desk and my computer files, I’ve had time to think of the many events and people that have made a difference in my “working life”.  In that time, I have worked with some of the most professional and dedicated people in the assessment field. People that I have been able to rely on to keep me on track for being fair in what can be a difficult profession at times.  It’s said that no workplace is perfect, but looking back, I have nothing but admiration for the people that supported me, corrected me and helped me through each day. I was part of the transition from hand drawings to computers and notepads to spreadsheets.  The technology is wonderful, albeit somewhat confusing at times. When you spend a significant amount of time with the same people, you get to experience not only your life, but the lives of the people around you. We’ve shared laughs and tears, new babies, birthdays, anniversaries, broken bones, surgeries, the passing of loved ones, weddings a divorce or two, retirements and a few friends that have come and then gone to higher designations as County Assessors.  This has been a great “work family” in a great place to work! It will be different not having a place to come to each morning, but that will pass as I move on to hobbies, traveling and enjoying time with my wife, Nancy. For the new people and a few of the established assessors, I’d like to share something from retired Polk County Assessor Curt Becker, who said “I would like to encourage assessors to lighten up and don’t make your job your whole life.  What we do isn’t brain or heart surgery. People don’t live or die because of an appraisal-although some people think so”.  Curt, I’ve had that on my wall since 2005!  Now we have some younger assessors making their mark in the industry.  I wish them well. If they have the opportunity to work in Wright County, I hope they too, will feel blessed.

Best Wishes Jim! Winter 2020/Equal Eyes


tax court Provided by Jake PIdde, Stearns County Editorial Committee Member

MACy’s vs.

Hennepin County 32

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State Board of Assessors Meeting Minutes

Provided by Bobbi Spencer Minnesota Department of Revenue

State Board of Assessors Meeting Minutes St. Michael City Center Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Chairperson Gregg Larson convened the meeting at 8:30am. Board members in attendance:

Joy Kanne Gregg Larson Mike Reed Lori Schwendemann

Gary Amundson Andrea Fish Jane Grossinger Reed Heidelberger

Charlie Blekre was unable to attend. Agenda for the September 10, 2019 meeting was reviewed. Andrea Fish moved to approve the agenda. Lori Schwendemann seconded the motion. The motion carried. Minutes of the July 16, 2019 meeting were reviewed. Andrea Fish moved to approve the minutes. seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Reed Heidelberger

Updates •

Form Report Update Submitted Reports



Approved Reports

Rejected Reports

Reports being Graded

July 1, 2013–December 31, 2013





January 1, 2014– December 31, 2014





January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015





January 1, 2016 – December 31, 2016





January 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017





January 1, 2018 – December 31, 2018





January 1, 2019 – July 12, 2019





Passed Reports (7/1/2013 – 07/12/2019)

Received AMA

Received SAMA

Received CMAS

Have not applied for AMA





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Boardboard of Assessors state of assessors meeting minutes, continued September 10, 2019

Meeting Minutes Page 2 of 4

Best Practices Memo: A memo on the board’s recommendations for a path to licensure was sent out via email to all licensed assessors on August 1, 2019.

Late Renewal Letters: Letters were mailed on August 28, 2019 to 13 assessors and to the county administrators and county assessors where the assessors are employed.

Complaint Summary: The Department of Revenue provided a summary of complaints: seven had been received since the board’s May meeting, three were closed, and five remained active from previous years (the total of open investigations is 9).

FY 2017 – 2018 Biennial Report: At the July 16, 2019 board meeting, the board requested that a copy of the most recent biennial report be brought to the next meeting.

Big Picture with Education: The board read the positive feedback about a recent course written and taught by the Department of Revenue. It’s not too often that the board receives any feedback about education, it was good to hear that a positive change in education is happening for the assessors.

Approved Continuing Education Hours Requests •

Annual Fall Conference: Jean Popp requested CEH’s for this conference that will be held on September 29 – October 2, 2019 in Cohasset, MN sponsored by MAAO. The board’s continuing education committee approved this request for 4 continuing education hours for each of the 5 seminars.

Leadership, Team-Building and Coaching Skills for Managers & Supervisors: Wes Oian requested CEH’s for this class that was held on August 20, 2019 in Fargo, ND sponsored by Fred Pryor Seminars. The board’s continuing education committee approved this request for 6 continuing education hours.

Vanguard User Group Meeting: Teresa Ellerby requested CEH’s for this meeting that will be held on November 13 – 14, 2019 in St. Cloud, MN sponsored by Vanguard Appraisals, Inc. The board’s continuing education committee approved this request for 10 continuing education hours.

Denied Continuing Education Hours Requests •

Elements of Non-Lender Work: Jeremy Kobielush requested CEH’s for this online course sponsored by McKissock. The board’s continuing education committee denied this request for 4 continuing education hours. The consensus of the CEH committee was that this course is for general appraisers doing appraisals with intended uses outside the scope of work of the assessor.

That’s a Violation: Jeremy Kobielush requested CEH’s for this online course sponsored by McKissock. The board’s continuing education committee denied this request for 4 continuing education hours. The consensus of the CEH committee was that this course is for general appraisers doing appraisals with intended uses outside the scope of work of the assessor.

Request for Continuing Educations Hours •

Pat Chapman requested the board to grant 8 continuing education hours for taking the Residential Case Study Exam. Gary Amundson made a motion to deny the request, because the Residential Case Study Exam is a required action for licensure, and not a course. Reed Heidelberger seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Request for Licensure Course •

General Appraisal Income Approach course sponsored by McKissock: The board reviewed this course at the July 16, 2019, and at the time, there wasn’t enough information provided to make a decision on whether it would qualify for equivalency to the two required income courses. Zachary Mahan provided more details and the board reviewed this course for a second time to consider it as equivalent to two income courses, based on the fact that this course is a 60 hour course with a 5 hour exam. Reed Heidelberger made a motion to approve the General Appraisal Income Approach as an income course, and is equivalent to two income courses, based on the content and number of hours. Jane Grossinger seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Quantitative Research and Analysis course sponsored by University of Minnesota Duluth: Ryan Sauve requested the board to review this course to be considered as equivalent to an elective course. Andrea Fish moved to approve


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Board of Assessors September 10, 2019 state board of assessors meeting minutes, continued

Meeting Minutes Page 3 of 4

Quantitative Research and Analysis course as an elective. Jane Grossinger seconded the motion. The motion carried with 1 nay. Applications for Certified Minnesota Assessor Reed Heidelberger made a motion to award the Certified Minnesota Assessor license to the following individuals. Chad Cernohous, Goodhue County Jeremy Farar, Dodge County Mike Reed seconded the motion. The motion carried. Applications for Temporary Minnesota Assessor Andrea Fish made a motion to award the Temporary Minnesota Assessor license to the following individual. Melody Devine, Hennepin County Reed Heidelberger seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Application for Accredited Minnesota Assessor Andrea Fish made a motion to award the Accredited Minnesota Assessor license to the following individuals. Matthew Ammerman, Dakota County Mark Buysse, Lyon County Jason Dagostino, Anoka County Bill Downs, St. Louis County Andrew Imes, Lake County Christa Jetland, Itasca County Michael Kellar, Mower County Ryan Kraft, Olmsted County Jesse Larson, MN Department of Revenue Roy Levitt, St. Louis County Christopher Link, Goodhue County Derek Lunser, Koochiching County Amber Swenson-Hill, Polk County Lori Schwendemann seconded the motion. The motion carried. Application for Senior Accredited Minnesota Assessor Reed Heidelberger made a motion to award the Senior Accredited Minnesota Assessor license to the following individuals. Brett Hall, Hennepin County Bonnie Lay, Pope County Mike Reed seconded the motion. The motion carried. Andrea Fish made a motion to award the Senior Accredited Minnesota Assessor license to the following individual. Andrew Hively, City of Minneapolis Jane Grossinger seconded the motion. The motion carried. Appointments with the Board MAAO Education Steering Committee; Mike Wacker (Chair) and Tim Mitchell, members of the education steering committee, met with the board to discuss any concerns for education being offered by MAAO. The board pointed out that some of the classes being offered by MAAO are more appraisal based than assessment related. Mike Wacker explained that the committee will be more hands-on when selecting courses from other organizations to co-sponsor. MAAO has set aside funds to develop courses and rewrite courses. The board shared some ideas for future courses and to keep in mind that one hour courses will be an option starting in 2020. Mike pointed out that the committee was very excited about the one hour option, it



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state board of assessors meeting minutes, continued

Board of Assessors September 10, 2019

Meeting Minutes Page 4 of 4

will give them more opportunities at the conferences. The board brought up their concerns about some of the venues that have been selected in the past. Mike indicated they are committed to making sure the venues are a good place to hold their classes. The board shared its appreciation to the education steering committee for having such a passion to make sure the education the assessors receive is of high quality and that it meets all of the standards.

Discussion Items •

Rule Changes: The board reviewed the rules changes that will be effective on July 1, 2020 and agreed to move forward with the rule change process. Reed Heidelberger moved to give the board’s chair, Gregg Larson, the authority to sign the authorizing resolution. Joy Kanne seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Proposed Complaint Procedures: A few changes will be made to the procedures and reviewed at the November meeting.

Complaint Committee Member: Reed Heidelberger made a motion to nominate Jane Grossinger as the third member of the board’s complaint committee. Mike Reed seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Appraisal Assignments: The board discussed two scenarios regarding appraisal assignments to clarify prohibited assignments. Andrea Fish made a motion to adopt the two appraisal assignment approaches as part of a code of conduct policy. Reed Heidelberger seconded the motion. The motion carried, and the following is adopted as board policy: 1.

The assessor can provide any public information related to the assessment to the governing body (e.g., if the effective age was determined for purposes of the normal assessment/valuation, the effective age information can be given to the city/county).


Anything beyond that is considered an appraisal assignment, and may be a violation of prohibited activity. (E.g., estimating a new highest and best use value if that analysis wasn’t completed as part of the normal assessment.)

Unlicensed Assessors: The board reviewed the summary of responses received verifying the actions of the individuals who had not renewed their licenses by July 1, but who were still working. The board agreed with the Department of Revenue’s findings, that each instance was an unintentional oversight by the person, not an intentional act, nor was there any impact to taxpayers.

Reinstatement Fee: The board discussed if a reinstatement fee could be waived; the board does not have a policy for granting waivers, all reinstatement fees will be paid in full.

Basic Appraisal Principles from Kaplan: After a comparison of this course with the AMA Standards, Jane Grossinger delivered the opinion that it is a strong appraisal course and a good beginner course for new assessors that should continue to be used as a qualifying licensure course.

Retaking Exams for Board Approved Licensure Courses: Because all of the sponsoring organizations have different re-examination policies it is impossible to manage the assessor’s records for passing or failing a course based on a roster with no exam results. Completion certificates must be submitted for all licensure courses co-sponsored by MAAO to receive credit for taking the course.

The chairperson set the next meeting date as Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at the St. Michael City Center in St. Michael, MN at 8:30 am. Andrea Fish made a motion to pay the expenses for the meeting. Gary Amundson seconded the motion. The motion carried. Reed Heidelberger made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Lori Schwendemann seconded the motion. The motion carried.

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crossword key


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Official Publication of the Minnesota Association of Assessing Officers

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