Nearly four decades running a local car dealership made Neil Kimsey well known throughout Clark County. He was so highly visible his son once joked that his father knew everyone in the county. These days, Kimsey turns that joke around, because his son is the county auditor, Greg Kimsey. “The county auditor is much better known than a retired car dealer,” he quips with a laugh.
The 81-year old Kimsey wasn’t one to set back and ride a rocking chair through retirement. So after 38 years of business, he sold his dealership and looked for other things to keep him busy. After asking around about public service, he discovered his interest with sewers and ran for office in 1996. Today, after 18 years of service, he’s still intrigued by sewers and wastewater.
During his years as a commissioner, Kimsey has seen much change, especially in the District’s customer service. “Customer service was always the key to my own business,” he said. “When you treat customers well, they treat you well.” In nearly forty years at his dealership, he never had a customer give him a bad check. He brought that same customer commitment to the District and has watched its customer responsiveness improve under his oversight.
For Kimsey, the aspect he enjoys the most is being a District ambassador and providing truthful, accurate information about its services. For example, the myths about restaurant fees in Hazel Dell. “Traffic impact fees are typically a greater cost to local restaurants than sewer fees,” he explained. District fees are in the low to mid-range of all Clark County sewer providers.
In 2003, the Washington Association of Sewer and Water Districts named him “Commissioner of the Year” for his support of the District and also the time and effort he dedicated to the association.
“Any decision we make affects thousands of people within our District, especially during these hard economic times” he said.