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By Shiloh Ireland

Photo, left:  Former San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Ernest J. Dronenberg cuts ribbon to dedicate the Archive Reading Room in Santee

October 25, 2023 (Santee) – A ceremony was held today at the San Diego County Assessor/Recorder’s office in Santee, where Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Jordan Marks dedicated the Archive Reading Room to his predecessor, Ernest J. Dronenberg, Jr.  The event also celebrated Dronenburg’s legacy of public service.

The facility was full of guests, local county politicians and officials including Mayor Bill Wells of El Cajon, Santee City Councilmembers Ronn Hall and Vice Mayor Laura Koval,  Andrew Hayes, staffer for  Senator Brian Jones as well as an Assembly candidate and Lakeside Union School Board President,  Padre Dam Director Bill Pommering, Jordan Gascon, Chairman of the San Diego Republican Party, and others.

Bow ties were requested to be worn, since that was Dronenburg’s  signature look during his tenure.  Dronenburg was accompanied by his wife. His colleagues described him as a “numbers guy” and praised his service.

He had served the residents of San Diego County for over 50 years. Most recently, from 2012-2022, he was the San Diego County Assessor/Recorder/County Clerk. He also served as the Chair of the State Board of Equalization, Chair of the Franchise Tax Board, and the Chair of the San Diego County Board of Education.

In 2020, under Dronenburg's leadership as County Assessor/ Recorder/Clerk, the award-winning archive was built. The mission of the archives program is to maintain, preserve, and facilitate access to all of the Recorder/County Clerk's Office official records. The collection includes documents since the County of San Diego's formation in 1850 to present day.

The archive is located at 10144 Mission Gorge Rd. in the new County Assessor/Recorder/Clerk’s office, a beautifully designed building with numerous art pieces adorning the facility, helpful staff and ample parking. The previous East County building was a small office in El Cajon with limited parking, where sometimes long lines would be encountered.

Photo, right:  Andrew Hayes presents Ernest J. Dronenberg Jr. with a proclamation honoring his service, as current Assessor/Recorder/Clerk Jordan Marks looks on.

Dronenburg was in pleasant spirits but moved by all the honorary plaques he received, the dedication, and the and speakers honoring him for his lifetime of service to the residents of San Diego County.

Upon retiring from the county, he declined a pension.


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