Gov. Gary Herbert has appointed Carbon County Clerk/Auditor Robert Pero to serve on the Utah State Tax Commission. When the State Senate confirms the appointment, Pero will resign the county post he has held for almost two decades.
He had been the accounting and data processing supervisor at Soldier Creek Mine when he was chosen by the county commission to serve the remainder of the term of Clerk/Auditor Norman Prichard, who had died in office.
Mike Milovich, who was on the county commission that appointed Pero, said Friday that Pero is "probably one of the best clerk/auditors in the state. The Tax Commission is getting a very capable individual."
In an interview Thursday, Pero reminisced about the early days in office. He had come aboard at the county in March, the start of tax season for that office, a busy time. Although the job was new, he did bring experience and training to the position. In addition to his years at Soldier Creek, he had also worked at Thiokol as a performance statistician. He also had earned a Master's Degree in computer science and applied statistics from Utah State University and his Bachelor's in business and economics from the University of Utah.
Nevertheless, "The job has never been easy. It has always been challenging," he said. On the other hand, he noted, he is one of those rare people who actually enjoys budgeting and auditing.
Pero wrote all his own programs for those purposes over the years. Since he was the author of the software, he did not need manuals or training. However, his successor may need those things. Pero said he is not going to leave the county hanging in that regard. He'll have a little time for transition between the time a replacement is named and when he has to leave for Salt Lake City.
He said he sought the job in the first place and then ran for re-election because "I have always liked dealing with the public."
The clerk/auditor's office is the place to be to meet the public. The clerk half of the services include such things as passports, marriage licenses and elections. Alexis Horsley, Pero's deputy, runs that operation.
The other half, auditor, is the side Pero likes best.
He has worked at the state level on both aspects of the job. He served on the Utah Association of Counties' Revenue and Taxation Steering Committee. Pero was also appointed by then Lt. Governor Herbert in 2006 to represent Utah on the United States Election Assistance Commission Standards Board.
His term on the Tax Commission will be four years. Assuming the State Senate confirms his appointment, he'll begin the new position some time in February.
Pero said he is glad that the governor has chosen him because he thinks it is important for the commission to have some rural perspective.