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Next property assessor to be selected by Commission

The Unicoi County Commission is scheduled to appoint a new assessor of property during a meeting beginning at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 27, in the large courtroom of the Unicoi County Courthouse.
County Mayor Greg Lynch reminds anyone who is interested in being considered for the position to submit his or her name and qualifications in writing to Commission Chairwoman Marie Rice care of the county mayor’s office before the meeting in order to give commissioners an opportunity to review their resumes. These can be mailed to P.O. Box 169, Erwin, TN 37650; however, Lynch advises hand delivering the information.
Lynch also said that individuals can be nominated from the floor during Monday’s meeting without having submitted a resume for review.
According to the website of the County Technical Advisory Service (CTAS), the qualifications for assessor of property are as follows: “Any county resident over the age of 18 who is not otherwise disqualified from holding public office (by virtue of certain criminal convictions or other legal disqualifications) may seek the office of assessor of property. No educational or experience requirements apply.”
Lynch said the assessor’s office is very important to the county.
“Property tax is the county’s main source of revenue,” he added.
According to CTAS, “the assessor determines the value of all property in the county, whether real, personal or mixed, including mineral rights, leaseholds, and all other nonexempt property except property of public utilities valued by the state. The assessor maintains the property tax maps of the county and keeps current indexes of taxpayers, including a description of the property on the assessment books sufficient to identify it. The assessor also reports assessments to the local and state boards of equalization.”
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The search for a new property assessor began after the resignation of the previous assessor Patsy Bennett. Bennett cited health concerns as the reason for her resignation which became official on April 2.
Bennett submitted her resignation in a letter dated March 17 and addressed to Lynch. The letter follows in its entirety:
“It is with great sorrow that I must inform you that I am resigning from my office of tax assessor of Unicoi County effective April 2, 2015. As you know I have not been in the office since late October because of my illness. I have kept in touch with the office making sure that it was running well, as well as doing some work from home. I have a good staff who served the citizens well in my absence. My hope was that my health would improve to the point that I could fulfil my obligations, but it was not meant to be.
“I wish to thank you and the support you have given me in these last few months. I would like to thank the members of my staff who have worked so hard to serve the citizens these last few months. Finally, I want to thank the citizens of Unicoi County who had the confidence in me to elect me to this office. I am sorry my health has deteriorated to the point that I will not be able to complete my term in office.”
Bennett’s term was set to expire in 2016.
“We wish Mrs. Bennett well in her retirement,” Lynch said.
As of The Erwin Record’s press deadline, only Rene Arwood has submitted her name for consideration.
Wayne Peterson, an employee of the assessor’s office who was chosen by Bennett to fill her position until the Commission appoints an individual to complete her term, told The Erwin Record last week that he plans to submit his name for consideration as well.