Rutherford County is known for innovation and for breaking new ground in delivering service and value to her citizens. The Property Assessor’s Office led by Conservative republican Assessor Rob Mitchell is perhaps the best example of this in practice.
He personally was Awarded the John C. Donehoo from the International Association of Assessing Officers, Middle Tennessee Assessor of the Year, five-time President of the Middle Tennessee Assessors Association, Winner of the Excellence in Operations Award (Best Assessor’s Office in Tennessee) and most recently the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers Three Star Designation from the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers.
For the second election in a row Rob was also the highest vote recipient of any elected official (State, Local or National Office) in Rutherford County. This dedication to public service was so illustrative of best practices in government administration that the Governor of Tennessee agreed to issue him the oath of office. In attendance were many state and local leaders, all in masks and participating in proper social distancing.
First Lady of Tennessee, Maria Lee, State Reps. Mike Sparks, Tim Rudd, and Charlie Baum were in attendance as was both of Rutherford County’s State Senators Dawn White and Shane Reeves. Rutherford Commissioner Pettus Read from Rockvale was in attendance as was Rutherford County Trustee Teb Batey and Deputy to Mayor Steve Sandlin. Ed Elam, Rutherford County Director of Risk Management was in attendance as were classmates of Mitchell and Lee; Mike Tansil of Murfreesboro and Greg Welch of Oklahoma City. Mitchell’s family was in attendance; his mother Jean, father Bob and sister ,Kim as well as his eldest son Andrew, a local attorney. His wife Kim held Mitchell’s grandmother’s old bBible brought from the coal fields of West Virginia on which he took his oath.
Mitchell presented the Governor with a copy of the oldest assessment book in Tennessee as a gift from Rutherford County. Mitchell’s personal testimony of how God intervened in his life after a horrendous car accident gave those in attendance a rare insight into the quiet faith and mission of a man touched by God’s Grace and which led to serve his community and fellow citizens.
It was a great event for Rutherford County and marks the first and only time a governor in Tennessee has administered the oath of office to an Assessor of Property. It is an office often overlooked by the public until tax notices go out but there is no office more important to the financial health of a community than that of the Assessor of Property. Governor Lee recognizes that importance and hopefully everyone else does as well.