Back to Square One: Search for Chief Tax Appraiser Starts Over

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Wade Carlton Williams declined the County’s offer for the position of Chief Appraiser today. Williams was one of three candidates the County interviewed recently, an effort to fill the void left by interim Appraiser Richard Lamb. The third appraiser in a year’s time, Lamb left the position in October. Since this time, the Board of Tax Assessors has desperately sought to fill the vacancy left by Lamb. After long months of reviewing resumes, the Board narrowed the selection down to three candidates. After deciding on Williams, the Board offered him the position as Chief Appraiser. Williams, however, declined the position today.

In a conversation with FYN this afternoon, Assessor Board Chairman Jeff Holloway said that Williams did not give a reason why he declined the position. Holloway also said he will meet with the Board to decide how to proceed with the hiring process. In the interim, though, he said that the County will continue to use existing staff to provide the needed appraisal services.

So, in short, the County is back to square one. The Board of Assessors will now have to begin the process all over again. One board member said that the Board will likely begin taking new applications and begin interviewing for the position.

The challenge for the new appraiser will doubtless be Gilmer County’s recessional and debt-damaged economy, where land values are on the decline, reflected in a digest that dropped 13 percent in 2010. Also, the County is faced with a slogging economy that is seemingly keeping away new businesses and driving away investors. Board Member Randy Bell told FYN today one of the major challenges the new appraiser will face in Gilmer County is legislative exemptions, such as Conservation and School Tax Exemptions, where Holloway said it would be

“keeping up with declining values in the market.”

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