Commissioners approve hiring temp worker in assessors’ office

Grady County commissioners on Tuesday approved the hiring of a temporary worker for the Grady County Board of Tax Assessors’ office, but assessors say they hope the additional staff position will become permanent.
Members of the board of assessors, including John Tillis, Prentiss Mitchell and Julian Rawls, appeared before the county commission requesting additional staffing as one employee prepares to be out of work on maternity leave.
Grady County Administrator Carlos Tobar recommended using contingency funds of approximately $6,000 to employ the temporary employee for 10 weeks.
Assessors Chairman Tillis said this is one of the busiest times for the tax assessors office and the assessors board wanted to bring in the new employee as soon as possible.
When County Commissioner T.D. David suggested the temporary worker may eventually become a new, permanent employee, Chairman Tillis said the office actually needs two additional employees but would appreciate one additional staffer.
Commissioner David said that the assessors’ office was one that tries to operate with fewer personnel than they actually need. “It’s hard to see the impact until you see what damage has been done,” he said.
Chairman Tillis said the office did not have sufficient personnel to make inspections of all properties annually, as required.
Tillis said appraisers recently discovered a home that was built four to five years ago that had not been added to the digest. He also said that many residents build additions, such as pole barns, without obtaining permits and without a permit to alert the office of the improvements appraisers cannot add them to the digest unless they are discovered through annual inspections.
Assessor Mitchell compared the staffing of the board of assessors office to that of code enforcement. According to Mitchell, code enforcement has five employees and collects just over $100,000 a year in permit fees for the county, but the assessors office has five employees and is responsible for generating tens of millions of dollars for the county treasury on an annual basis.
“What we need right now is just a warm body to answer the phone,” Mitchell said.
The board voted unanimously to approve the additional funding to hire the temporary worker and requested the assessors bring back a recommendation to the board for additional, permanent personnel at a future meeting.

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