Hauck steps down after 37 years as auditor

After serving 37 years as Dunn County’s auditor, Reinhard Hauck is officially retiring.

Reinhard Hauck is pleased to enter a new phase in his life. – Photo by Phil Losinski

By JENNIFER KOCHER

Dunn County Herald

Posted Sept. 14, 2012

After serving 37 years as Dunn County’s auditor, Reinhard Hauck is officially retiring. Well, sort of. In fact, with all this newfound spare time on his hands, Hauck plans to revisit his original career goal: ranching and farming, and he’s planning to run for county office.

“It took me 38 years to get back to this point,” Hauck joked.

Upon graduating from Dickinson State University with a degree in secondary education, Hauck set out at age 22 to teach junior high science in Bottineau, N.D., an experience that turned out to be a nightmare for him.

“I was completely overwhelmed,” Hauck said. “I wasn’t ready to be in a classroom. I was far too inexperienced.”

After the school year ended, Hauck returned to the Dunn County area with the goal of coming home to do some farming and ranching. However, this didn’t last long after he was approached by the retiring superintendent of schools, who encouraged him to apply for the newly opened position. Though he had no desire to return to the classroom, the administrative aspect of the role interested him and so he applied and got the job. Thus, at age 24, Hauck officially began his run in public service.

“I guess you could say that I grew up as a county official,” Hauck said.

His transition from superintendent to the auditor role was somewhat accidental, though in retrospect, follows a natural course of transition. After serving for a brief period as superintendent, a lack of population in the area led to several county school closings and began to make his job obsolete. At the same time, Dunn County Auditor Mary Stroh announced her retirement, and after her replacement quit after only two days on the job, encouraged Hauck to apply. Once again, he applied and got the job. According to Hauck, he had the great fortune to benefit from Stroh’s tutelage as she helped him learn the finer points of the job. He hopes to return this favor when Tracey Dolezal officially takes over the auditor position on Sept. 15.

“It was a tough job,” Hauck admitted, particularly when looking back at the time he spent setting up and running various local elections in the pre-computer days. In fact, the auditor role tends to be a catch-all position, regulating changes in state mandates, tallying and tracking finances, and documenting minutes at meetings, to name a few. During the course of his career, Hauck estimates that he’s written anywhere between 2500 to 2700 minutes. Despite some of the more grueling duties, Hauck loved the job and will greatly miss the staff and people with whom he’s worked with over the years.

“I will miss the interaction with the people most of all,” Hauck said.

Nonetheless, he plans to use his retirement to drive to Alaska with his wife, visit his sister in Northern California, visit the Holy Land, learn to fish better, see a Packer or Viking football game, and of course, spend time with his family and new granddaughter. And, continue his passion for public service.

“You can’t spend your life doing public service and just walk away from it when you retire,” Hauck said. To Hauck, public service is not just a job, it’s a calling. Along with remaining active on the ambulance board and other various organizations, Hauck also plans to run for County Commissioner this fall. Not only will this keep him actively involved with the Dunn County community, but it will also allow him to share the years of his experience in ways that he feels will benefit the community, considering the extent of his experience and the many roles he’s played over his course as auditor.

Instead of running for Dunn County Commissioner, perhaps Hauck should be encouraged to run for a national congressional role as his favorite part of the job is putting a budget together. Hauck for Congress?


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