County selects tax administrator
by Kellen Moore
The Watauga County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Monday evening to hire Warren as county tax administrator.
Warren, a Vilas resident who has worked in the department for about six and a half years, will officially begin Tuesday and is expected to serve through June 30, 2014. His annual salary will be $70,000.
Board Chairman Nathan Miller said five candidates were interviewed for the job by a committee that included Miller, County Manager Deron Geouque and Angie Boitnotte, director of the Project on Aging.
Warren started as interim administrator in August following the departure of Kelvin Byrd, who accepted a job in Rowan County after serving in Watauga County’s tax department for about 26 years.
The county began seeking a replacement around that time, but received only 10 applications during its first job posting, Geouque said, leading staff to advertise the position a second time.
As head of the tax department, Warren will oversee the collection of current and delinquent taxes for the county. Watauga County is one of few counties that operates its own license plate agency, which Warren also will lead, along with the appraisal, listings, mapping and collections departments.
Warren also will guide the revaluation process, a new assessment of property values already under way that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.
In the immediate future, Warren also will have to find a replacement for his former position in the collections department.
“I’m really excited about it,” Warren said. “I’d by lying if I said it didn’t make me nervous, but I’ve been here six and a half years, I’m familiar with the operation. I think I can make as smooth a transition as possible, and I’m really looking forward to working with the citizens of the county.”