Longtime county executive Bobbie Shields was appointed Tuesday to fill the term of former Tax Assessor Garrett Alexander, who resigned last month in the wake of taxpayer turbulence over the 2011 revaluation.
The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners also approved the hiring of 18 building code enforcement inspectors, supervisors and planners for two county inspection programs. It is a sign that commercial and residential construction is slowly rebounding in Mecklenburg, said code enforcement director Jim Bartl.
Commissioners approved without debate appointing Shields to oversee the tax assessors office, in addition to his regular role as a general manager. He started working for the county in 1986.
Alexander, who resigned Nov. 21, is a casualty of the revaluation controversy that swept the county, fueled by thousands of taxpayers who complained their properties were vastly overvalued and that their concerns werent being heard.
Shields term will run through June 30. After that, it will be up to commissioners to appoint a new assessor.
Of the 18 new hires in county code enforcement, 14 will go to the regular inspection services. Nine will be inspector level III hires, two supervisors, two in-office plan examiners, and one will be a plan facilitator, Bartl said.
Those new hires and necessary equipment will cost $912,235 a year all coming from fees, not tax money.
Four new inspectors will be added to the departments Inspection By Appointment program, costing $283,685. The hires are needed because the workload is rising, a sign of an improving economy.
In the past four months, the department has issued 7 percent more permits than during the same period last year. The demand for inspections is up 15 percent over the same period in 2011, he said.
Weve had over 21 months of pretty solid growth in permits for commercial and residential construction, Bartl said.