Blair, Weed vying for Pike County revenue commissioner

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 1, 2014

For the first time in 20 years, incumbent Pike County revenue commissioner incumbent Curtis Blair, a Democrat, faces competition in the general election.

Jerome “Bo” Weed is the Republican nominee for the race.

Weed, a longtime Baptist pastor, says his service-oriented heart drew him to run for revenue commissioner.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I have a service heart,” Weed said. “I enjoy serving the needs of people and this is an opportunity to serve a whole community. I plan to make your experience paying property taxes as pleasant as paying property taxes can be.”

Weed also is an advocate of a conservative approach to government, supporting fiscal responsibility and term limits, he said.

Blair has stuck by his original campaign slogan of “Blair will be fair,” and aims to continue his time in the office with a fair and even manner.

“We’re going to treat everyone that comes through the door the same,” Blair said. “I have experience in running an office with an open door policy office. I’m knowledgeable. I have ability that only comes from experience within the office.”

Weed says he hopes to run the office in a similar manner with honesty and integrity.

“If the rule says I have to put a tax lien on you, I have to do it. Human error is to make mistakes and I will try to minimize mistakes as much as possible and not intentionally show favoritism,” Weed said.

There are currently 11 employees in the revenue commissioner’s office plus Blair. The office works with approximately $420,000 for the revenue commissioner’s fiscal budget and an additional $1.2 million for the reappraisal budget.

Blair says his office constantly works to be able to cut costs and work more efficiently when possible.

“I try to get all the grant money I can for my office,” Blair said. “Just because it’s in my budget, we don’t spend it unless we need it. I don’t think there is anyone in the courthouse more conservative than me.”

If elected, Weed says he does not plan to change the office or the staff in any way.

“I don’t plan on changing office or personnel,” Weed said. “I would evaluate the staff. They’ve taken care of my business and done a fine job.”

According to Blair the software used in the revenue commissioner’s office will generally change following a legislative session and becoming familiar with the software is not something that will happen over night.

“Whenever I first started we did every thing with pencil and paper,” Blair said. “This software is state of the art for the revenue commissioner. It gets us up to speed every year or as money permits, updates us.”

Weed says he feels Blair has served for far too long and no matter the office the official should be held to term limits.

“It’s time for a change,” Weed said. “If nobody else will run, then I will run. It’s been 18 years since he’s had to run an election or campaign.”

Weed says if he is elected, he would serve just two terms “at absolute most.”

“More people need to have an opportunity to serve,” Weed said. “The office belongs to the people of Pike County.”

Along with the changes in software, Blair says during is time as revenue commissioner there have been major updates to the way the office is operated.

“We went to automatic assessments. Now they people don’t have to come back every year to assess it. We built a satellite office in Brundidge in 1996 to service the people in the southern end of the county. We provide a website and allow property taxes to be paid 24/7.”

While Weed is originally not a Troy native, he says he has grown to consider Troy home during his time here.

“I love being in Troy,” Weed said. “I love being in Pike County … I know what it feels like to pay all these taxes and seem to get little in return,” Weed said. “I hope when the first six years are over they’ll say, ‘That’s the best decision I’ve ever made.’”