After serving as Tax Commissioner for the past 11 years, Upson County Tax Commissioner J. Berry Cook has announced he will be retiring at the end of the year. Cook released a statement on the matter earlier this week, stating that Chief Deputy Tax Commissioner Angela Raines will be taking over the duties to finish out his term that ends in 2016.
“It has been my pleasure and honor to serve the fine people of Upson County since January 1, 2005, but because of personal and family reasons, I feel it is time for me to retire effective December 31, 2015,” Cook stated. “My well qualified, duly appointed, Chief Deputy Tax Commissioner, Angela Raines, will assume office on January 1, 2016 and serve out the balance of my term; therefore, no special election will be required. Also, I plan to be on call and help her any way I can during this transition period. Thank you for allowing me to serve as your tax commissioner these past 11 years.”
Cook also added that he will be helping Raines to prepare the tax digest next year because, while he knows she is capable of doing it, it is a complicated process and he wants to be as much help as possible.
At a county commission work session meeting this past Monday, Raines told the board she has no intention of running for Tax Commissioner and plans to go back to her role as Chief Deputy Tax Commissioner once a new person takes office. She also noted there would be no need to hire a temporary employee to fill her role, because the office staff will be able to work together to get the tasks done.
“We appreciate you being willing to step up and help out,” Commissioner Ralph Ellington told Cook at the meeting earlier this week. “That is a very honorable thing for you to do.”
The rest of the board echoed Ellington’s comments and wished Cook a happy retirement.
Ashley Biles can be reached by calling 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @AshleyBiles1