Augusta loses its chief tax appraiser

Calvin Hicks, Augusta's chief appraiser for the past three years, started a new job this week as chief appraiser for the DeKalb County Board of Assessors.

Augusta Board of Assessors Chairman Charles F. Smith said DeKalb had been recruiting Mr. Hicks for some time, but Mr. Hicks opted to serve out his contract. His last day working in Augusta was Thursday.

"They've been after Calvin for a long, long time," Mr. Smith said. "The truth is, we were really hoping he would stay here."

For the time being, the tax assessor's office is operating without a chief appraiser, with Mr. Smith serving as the interim department head. Fortunately, it's a slow time of year right now, Mr. Smith said, and he hopes to have the position filled within three months.

Deputy Chief Appraisers Donna Murray and Melanie Oglesby are handling day-to-day operations of the department until a replacement for Mr. Hicks is hired, Mr. Smith said.

Mr. Hicks was hired in 2006 after serving as chief appraiser for Macon-Bibb County for 17 years. He replaced E.W. "Sonny" Reece II, who resigned under pressure from the board in March 2005.

Mr. Smith credited Mr. Hicks with modernizing the office, streamlining operations and updating land value calculations.

Reach Johnny Edwards at (706) 823-3225 or johnny.edwards@augustachronicle.com.

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