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Changes to board of assessors approved

The Grady County commission voted unanimously this week not to reappoint Chief Appraiser Susan Bennett to the Grady County Board of Tax Assessors.
Ms. Bennett’s term on the board expires June 5th and commissioners voted Tuesday night to replace her with John Tillis, a current member of the Grady County Board of Equalization.
According to County Administrator Rusty Moye, Tillis has been contacted and has agreed to serve if appointed.
Although there was little public discussion Tuesday night, Chairman Al Ball said the topic was discussed extensively in closed session previously.
“Our basic concern is that the current board is comprised of two current employees and one former employee of the tax assessors office. This is the first opening to make a change since those concerns arose,” Chairman Ball said.
Ball says having two current employees of the assessors office and a former employee gives the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“It does not give the public much confidence that any appeals heard by the board would have equity,” the chairman added.
The other members of the board in addition to Ms. Bennett are Julian Rawls and Wednesdee Sadler. Rawls is a former employee of the tax assessors office.
Tillis will be required to step down from service on the board of equalization and his replacement will be named by Superior Court Chief Judge A. Wallace Cato.
In other business Tuesday night, the board:
Accepted the low bid of $171,000 for the purchase of a 2010 John Deere 670G motor grader from Flint Equipment Company. The new motor grader will replace a 1990 model, which Shop Superintendent Larry Hunter says has been completely rebuilt by the county. District 3 Commissioner Charles Norton voiced his opposition to spending the money on new equipment. Norton preferred the money be spent on paving additional roads. “We need to be tight with our money and put it in the best places,” Norton said. After discussing the purchase commissioners voted 3-1, with Norton in opposition, to accept the low bid. The motor grader will be purchased using proceeds from the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax.
Authorized the payment of $7,509.20 for consulting engineering performed by EcoSouth on the Tired Creek project.
Authorized the chairman to execute resolutions to apply for the Community Home Investment Program (CHIP) Grant with the city of Cairo.
Authorized payment of legal fees in the amount of $2,824.80 in connection with an age discrimination law suit filed by former county employee Willard Hinton.
Authorized payment of $3,147 for the annual software support of Governmental Systems Inc. (GSI) for the tax assessor’s office computer software.
Authorized the payment of one-third of a low bid of $9,600 for rehabilitation of the fire protection sprinkler system in both the county-owned building and separate city-owned building that now makes up the Grady County Museum and History Center.
Excused administrative personnel and met behind closed doors to evaluate the job performance of the county administrator. No action was taken once the meeting was reopened to the public.

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