Slay, Supervisors at Odds

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In the past, appraisal work, including maintenance which means updating changes annually in the county, was done in-house from the tax assessor's office.

Some months ago Jimmy Slay told the board he didn't have the personnel to do it that way and wanted to bid out the work to private appraisal firms.

In October no bids were received. In December only one bid came in. It was $1.7 million and was rejected by the board. These still unsolved problems brought out this question by District 1 supervisor Eddie Harper.

"Is there anything at this point that we can be doing in Lauderdale County during the waiting process that will help the '05 maintenance work go faster?" Harper asked.

"And I appreciate that question, but Mr. Harper I'm going to be flat dead straight with you. I'm going to lay it on top of the table," said Slay. Do you think I'd be over there in that office if I could be doing something right now? Do you know the pressure that's going to be on me because we're going to have to delay this contract now? Do you think I wouldn't be doing something about it?"

Board attorney Rick Barry attempted to quiet the very troubled waters.

"Previous boards never had that problem," said board attorney Rick Barry. "They've always had in-house appraisals that took care of the maintenance problem. Now we're going outside and doing our appraisal of personal property and real property. Last year was the first we had to do that on maintenance was it not? Previous tax assessors didn't have that problem with the board of supervisors."

The board then voted to re-advertise for bids and even contact some firms which might be interested. The work on next year's tax rolls must be completed by June 1, so time is quickly running out.