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Long equalization board recruiting members
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According to Long County Clerk of Courts Frank Middleton, the county’s equalization board is two members short and finding candidates has been difficult.
“It’s always been hard to get people to serve on this board, and it seems that it’s getting harder and harder,” Middleton said.
According to the clerk, the equalization board acts as an appeals board for property owners when they don’t agree with the tax assessor’s value on property.
“When someone is dissatisfied with a property assessment value, they make an appeal to the board, from there the board gets together, hears the property owner, and then makes a decision on whether the value is accurate or needs to be adjusted,” he said.
According to the clerk, the board has four members, but there should be six. He says the members have staggered terms, with three serving and the other three being alternates. Current members are Dagmar Madden, Mary Hamilton, Bert Webb, and Alicia Raymer.
Middleton said the board only meets on an as-needed basis, and that members are nominally compensated for the meetings they attend.  He said the requirements to serve are that a person has a high school diploma or GED, owns property in the county, and attends a 40-hour training course.
"That’s the stickler for getting people to serve, the 40-hour training course; its hard for most people to take off a week of work to go off to school”, said Middleton.
Middleton says he is not the person who actually selects the people to serve, but he does submit the names of eligible persons to the Grand Jury, and then they decide on which candidates are appointed
Middleton the next meeting for the grand jury is Aug. 17, and he would like to have a list for them to consider. At this point, the list is pretty short.
Middleton said that if a person is interested in serving on the equalization board, they can contact him at 545-2123 or by writing to The Long County Clerk of Courts, PO Box 458, Ludowici, GA 31316.
The deadline for consideration is Aug. 14.
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