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Whit Powell named to tax assessors' board

Commission also nominated new hospital board members

POSTED: October 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Hall County Board of Commissioners named a fifth member to the board of tax assessors at its meeting Thursday.

Commissioner Billy Powell selected Whit Powell to replace former chief assessor Emory Martin, who resigned last week after District Attorney Lee Darragh and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations closed investigations into some of his actions while on the board.

Commissioner Powell, who is of no relation to the nominee, said Whit Powell is a retired businessman who he admires and feels will be a good fit for the board of tax assessors.

"I met him about two years ago and just really grew to admire him and his sense of business," Powell said.

The commission has made a number of changes to the embattled board of tax assessors since allegations broke that Martin was abusing the pay system by receiving pay for holidays and holding excessive meetings to the tune of $100 a piece.

The commission voted to change the board of tax assessors from a three to a five person board at its July 24 board meeting, and nominated Victoria Cook and Robert Hulsey to fill the new seats.

The commission also changed the way board members are compensated in order to prevent any abuse in the future.

Hall County commissioners voted to change the tax assessors pay to a $400-per-month stipend for members and $450 per month for the chairman. Board members will also no longer receive paid holidays.

Assessors Bill Vaughan and Terrell Gaines will remain on the board, and the new chairman will be selected amongst the board members at a later date.

Commissioners also announced their nominations for the Hospital Authority Thursday.

Commissioners in districts one, two and four each proposed three people who could fill vacancies on the board of trustees of the Hostpital Authority of Hall County and the City of Gainesville.

District 1 Commissioner Bobby Banks suggested Jim Henderson, who is currently serving, along with Alan Wayne and Flowery Branch City Councilwoman Mary Jones.

District 2 Commissioner Billy Powell recommended Spence Price, Ricky Presley and Pat Powell, of no relation to the commissioner, to succeed Louis Propes.

"Louis Propes has served the hospital authority in this community for many, many years and it is only because of his age that he has to resign from that position," Powell said.

District 4 Commissioner Deborah Mack suggested current member Janie Shelton, Major Nelson and Connie Sosebee.




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