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Supervisors go behind closed doors

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Oct. 7, 2003
Lauderdale County supervisors met in closed session for about two hours on Monday before reconvening into regular session and taking no action.
Part of the closed meeting involved Lauderdale County Tax Assessor Jimmy Slay in a discussion that was continued from last Thursday's work session in which supervisors raised questions about former employees of the office and having personal and real property appraisals contracted out.
During Thursday's work session, the board had asked Slay to arrange a meeting between supervisors and the owners of Statewide Appraisal of Brandon, the company the county has used for the past three years to do its personal property appraisals.
After Monday's meeting Hitt said the board still wants to meet with the owners, husband and wife, Christy and John Lewis, during the board's next work session, scheduled for Oct. 16.
Slay had intended on asking the board to approve a contract renewal with the company on Monday, with an increase of fees from $24,000 to $28,000.
Slay also wanted the board to contract with a company called Sanders and Associates Appraisal Services based in Aberdeen to do the county's real property appraisal, but the board would not act on the request.
Also present during part of the closed session Monday, which was called to discuss "personnel matters," was Jimmy Donald, a certified real property appraiser who was fired from the tax assessor's office last week, according to Hitt. Slay said last week that his deputy assessor who worked in the real property appraisal division quit prior to him letting the other person go.
After Monday's closed meeting Slay said nothing definitive came out of the executive session.
Sheriff discusses possible litigation
Also in closed session supervisors spoke to Sheriff Billy Sollie at his request concerning "possible litigation."
Rick Barry, the board attorney confirmed that the discussion was in reference to the county jail.
After the meeting Sollie said he had updated the board on how the jail's recertification process is going.
Sollie said the county began its latest recertification last fall.