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Supervisors want Slay to hire real property appraisers

By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Oct. 21, 2003
The Lauderdale County Board of Supervisors want to put the "personal touch" back in the county tax assessor's office.
Supervisors shot down Tax Assessor Jimmy Slay's request to enter a contract with an out-of-town company to do real property appraisals. They recommended Slay hire two people to take the place of certified appraisers who were working in his office earlier this year.
Slay was not at Monday's regular supervisors' meeting and could not be reached for comment.
Rex Hiatt, Lauderdale County administrator, submitted Slay's request to contract with Sanders and Associates Appraisal Services in Aberdeen to do the county's real property appraisals for $73,500.
The money would have come from the combined salaries of two certified real property appraisers who no longer work in the office.
Slay's deputy assessor resigned after the August Republican primary when Slay won re-election. Jimmy Donald, the second employee, was discharged of his duties a few weeks later when Slay decided to seek a contract with Sanders and Associates.
District 5 Supervisor Ray Boswell said the county needs a real property appraiser available to the people.
District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith said citizens prefer a personal touch when dealing with their homes and property.
District 3 Supervisor Craig Hitt, president of the board, said he was part of a board committee that looked into the real property appraisal options. He said the committee's recommendation also is the board's recommendation Slay should hire two people, including re-hiring Donald.
The board also approved Slay's request to renew a contract with Statewide Appraisal of Brandon. The company has done the county's personal property appraisals for the past three years. The contract was approved with an increase of fees from $24,000 to $28,000.