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Roane County officials are considering contracting with a former employee of the property assessor’s office to assist the Comptroller of the Treasury’s general counsel in appeals pending before the Tennessee Board of Equalization.
The Roane County Commission meets at 7 p.m. today – Monday – in the courthouse in Kingston. The resolution to contract with the former employee is on the agenda. If commissioners don’t like the idea they can vote it down.
“This is up to the commission,” County Executive Ron Woody said. “I filed the resolution at the request of the comptroller’s office.”
New Property Assessor David Morgan said he doesn’t like the idea.
“I’m the duly elected property assessor of Roane County, and I think that should be handled by the staff that’s there in my office,” he said. “We can handle any appeals.”
Woody said the former employee under consideration is Melvin Moore. According to the resolution, he retired.
Robert Lee is the general counsel for the comptroller. State law allows him to intervene in any case before the State Board of Equalization.
Following the controversial 2010 reappraisal, a number of Roane County property owners appealed to the state. Moore would attend the hearings to defend the assessor’s office against the property owners.
Lee intervened in some of the Roane County cases, including one involving business partners Jerry Duncan and Steve Kirkham.
Moore worked with Lee on that case and some others that are still pending.
Morgan, who took over as property assessor on Sept. 1, said there’s several holdovers from former assessor Teresa Kirkham’s staff who can handle appeals.
“If I’m asked to speak about it (the resolution), I’ll definitely give my opinion,” Morgan said.
If approved as submitted, the resolution would appropriate $20,000 to contract with Moore.
“It may not be $20,000,” Woody said of the eventual amount that would be spent. “It may be $5,000, but we had to budget something.”
In other business, resolutions to elect a commission chairman and chairman pro tempore is on the agenda. There are also resolutions to honor Kirkham, former road superintendent Tom Hamby and former school board member Frank Mee.
Kirkham and Mee ran for re-election this year but came up short. Hamby did not seek another term.