Assessor of Property Shannon Cantrell is in search of an employee to fill a vacancy in his office and he is asking the county budget committee to add a new position.
During a meeting with the budget committee at the courthouse Monday night, Cantrell said one of his employees has resigned and he needs more help.
“An employee who had been there for about three and a half years has resigned. Her last day was Friday so now I’m in the process of trying to replace her. Looking at it optimistically it will be six months to a year before I can train someone to the point where they can actually become productive in the office. There is a learning curve there,” he said.
In addition to the Assessor, the office is budgeted for three employees. Earlier this year Cantrell asked for an additional employee beginning with the current budget year but the request was denied by the budget committee at that time.
With the loss of an experienced worker and an increase in the workload, Cantrell said that a fourth employee is needed now more than ever.
Cantrell said he believes based on the number of parcels in the county at more than 18,000 he is entitled to a fourth employee under state law. Others say the law provides for an employee per 4500 parcels, after the first 4500 parcels.
The budget committee voted to table Cantrell’s request until January when it meets again to take another look at salaries of county employees.
According to Tennessee Code Annotated 67-1-506 in regard to deputy assessors and secretaries:
(a) (1) In order to assure that each county assessor of property shall have a minimum staff to assist the county assessor in carrying out the duties and responsibilities required by law, the assessor is authorized to appoint at least one (1) deputy assessor for each four thousand five hundred (4,500) parcels of property, as determined by the division of property assessments, over and above the first four thousand five hundred (4,500) parcels of property within the assessor’s taxing jurisdiction.
Each deputy assessor shall have the same power, duties and liability of the assessor of property with respect to the appraisal, classification, and assessment of property.
(b) (1) In any county where the assessor does not qualify for a deputy assessor under the provisions of this section, the assessor is authorized, with the approval of the county legislative body, to employ or appoint a secretary to assist the assessor in the operation of the assessor’s office. The compensation of such secretary shall be fixed by the county legislative body and paid out of county funds.
(2) The assessor shall employ such additional staff as the assessor deems necessary and establish rates of compensation for all employees within the appropriation established for the assessor’s office by the county legislative body.
(c) The assessor of property shall be liable for any malfeasance, misfeasance, or nonfeasance of the assessor’s deputy.