Ousted tax administrator’s wife addresses board

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

Diane Bagby is standing by her man.

Her husband Tom Bagby recently resigned his post as Brunswick County Tax Administrator at the request of the board of commissioners.

While Tom Bagby said last week he was surprised by the commissioners’ request for his resignation, Diane Bagby had much more to say at Monday night’s county commissioners’ meeting.

Diane Bagby argued Tom Bagby was not given an opportunity to express his opinion after the board made its decision at its last meeting, even though he was at the meeting.

“He can stand accused but not be able to confront his accusers?” she asked commissioners.

Tom Bagby was sworn in as tax administrator nine months into the 18-month property revaluation process, she said, adding “half was done and set into motion when he stepped in.”

As tax administrator, Tom Bagby, “took an oath to value property at 100 percent of the market value with fairness and equity,” which is what he did, Diane Bagby claimed.

Among his accomplishments as tax administrator, Diane Bagby said Tom Bagby added $4 million per year in tax value not from revaluations but from management.

“He cared about his team and his people. He attended all meetings whether he was on the agenda or not,” she said.

Diane Bagby told commissioners they were influenced by a group of people unhappy with their tax values, rather than by Tom Bagby’s accomplishments at the helm of the tax office.

With four of five commissioners up for re-election Nov. 4, she accused commissioners of worrying about votes rather than the success of the tax department.

“You lost more than a great tax administrator,” she said, “you just lost my vote.”

According to county attorney Huey Marshall, Bagby resigned as tax administrator Friday, Oct. 10.

Bagby, who made an annual salary of $81,390, has served as the county’s tax administrator since April 10, 2006.

The county’s tax administrator is appointed by the board of county commissioners, Bagby explained, and said he began his two-year appointment in June 2007.

“I think my record speaks for itself, and that’s why I was surprised,” he said.

Bagby said the tax department, under his leadership, was awarded the Ketner Award, a statewide productivity award, twice in four years.

Acting as interim tax administrator is Tom Davis, assistant tax administrator.

Bagby said he has no plans to pursue litigation against the county.

“I resigned. I don’t need to work where I’m not wanted.”

When contacted by a Beacon reporter last week, commissioner Marty Cooke said he couldn’t discuss Tom Bagby’s resignation, saying it was a personnel matter.

When asked for a comment by James Murray, who told commissioners it was a mistake to ask for Tom Bagby’s resignation, county commissioners chairman Bill Sue said the board could not comment, again saying it was a personnel issue.