HUNTSVILLE — Scott County Commission voted 12-2 Tuesday evening to promote Tiffany Jeffers to the role of Assessor of Property, where she will fill the vacancy created by the death of her former boss, Tony Sexton, until the next general election.
Sexton, a long-time employee of the assessor’s office, was originally elected in 2016. He won re-elected without opposition in August 2020. However, he died unexpectedly in December, after falling ill with Covid-19.
Jeffers was deputy assessor of property under Sexton, and was appointed the interim assessor of property following his death. She has worked in the assessor’s office for 16 years, initially serving under Steve Thompson before Thompson retired and Sexton campaigned to replace him.
Jeffers was one of two candidates for the vacancy, along with Sexton’s daughter, Heather Sexton.
Jeffers will serve as assessor of property until the position can be placed on the ballot in August 2022, the county’s next general election. At that point, someone will be elected to fulfill the remainder of the term, which ends in August 2024 and will be on the ballot again then.
Commissioners listened to statements from both Jeffers and Sexton but asked few questions before casting their vote.
Jeffers pointed out that she is a 16-year veteran of the assessor’s office, and said she would like to “keep the office running smoothly as it has in the past.”
“I have a good standing relationship with our staff. We work good together,” she said. “I have a good relationship with the register of deeds and the trustee’s office. We work good together.”
In response to questions from commissioners, Jeffers said that she has performed all duties of the office in the past and that, while she has not been involved in the county budget process in the past, she is aware of the importance of property taxes as the the county’s primary funding vehicle and the need to stay on top of assessments.
Sexton, a 22-year employee of Clinch-Powell Head Start, said that she is “very comfortable” with technology and would lean on guidance from her late father and her family.
“The initiative to serve others has been instilled in me,” she said. “I have not worked in the assessor of property’s office for 30 years. (But) my father did. I stopped in to visit with them and I observed his work and how important it is.”
Sexton said her father did not feel it would be appropriate for her to work in the office under him, as long as he was in the elected role. In response to questions from commissioners, she said she would like to see the office “step up its training” in order to improve it.
Voting in support of Jeffers were commissioners Donnie Bowling, Benny Carson, Kenny Chadwell, Harold Chambers, Blue Day, Shonda Gray, David Jeffers, Jerried Jeffers, Sam Lyles, Kenny Morrow, Mike Slaven and Paul Strunk.
Voting in support of Sexton were commissioners Patti Brown and Sheila Buttram.