Greene County Collector Leah Betts is resigning from her position next month amid a delay in tax documents and an apparent conflict between county offices.
Betts, who first was elected as collector in 2014, is slated to step down Feb. 28, according to a news release from the county. Betts and Greene County Assessor Rick Kessinger last month announced they were working overtime to address ongoing technical issues impacting tax assessments and statements for county residents.
“It is with great sadness that I am resigning as I have thoroughly enjoyed making a difference in our community during my days at the county,” Betts said in the release. "It is important that citizens know that I strategically chose the timing of my last day to get through and tackle the most challenging tasks presented during this tax season."
Community activist Linda Simkins this morning posted about Betts' planned resignation on her Facebook group, Springfield / Greene County Start Local.
Simkins provided an email from Betts, pointing to conflicts between county offices.
"The late and wrong statements are 100% not my fault. I can't mail a bill until the data is given to me by the assessor's office via the county-ran IT department," Betts said in the email to Simkins. "The assessor has been behind, and the IT department has struggled with the data. I sounded the alarms many months ago to people in the county that could act on it and no one would listen to me.
"Therefore, I can't do my job as well as I want, and since it's out of my control to make the things happen that need to happen, it's no longer a good fit for me because I always want to do my best."
Betts, whose term expires in 2022, this morning told Springfield Business Journal she was not asked to resign.
Greene County Public Information Officer Donna Barton provided a statement this morning on behalf of the Greene County Commission. The statement indicated, in part, that the collector, assessor and other office holders and departments have "worked tirelessly" to address the tax statement issues first brought to the commission’s attention in September.
“The commission immediately provided leadership – bringing together every involved office and department – to facilitate communication and find solutions," the statement reads. "This resulted in the ability to mail the majority of the tax statements before the end of the year and make significant progress on processing the remaining statements. This same collaborative approach is helping to identify options to streamline assessment, billing and collections in the future.
"For this, and all issues related to the county, the commission will keep the focus on positive resolutions."
Betts' resignation requires a gubernatorial appointment to fill the collector position at the county, according to the release.
"One of my goals will be to make the best transition possible to the newly appointed collector for the good of the citizens of the county," Betts said in the release.
Betts in 2020 was named Employee of the Year for SBJ's annual Dynamic Dozen awards.
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