Washington County offices earn top awards

Robert Houk • Nov 26, 2019 at 5:33 PM

Two governmental entities in Washington County have been awarded with top accolades for their accounting and professional prowess.

Washington County’s Assessor of Property Office has received the 2019 Three Star Certification from the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers.

The Three Star Certification is an annual evaluation based on reviews of property assessors across the state conducted by the state Comptroller’s Division of Property Assessments. Each assessor’s office must complete the monitoring process and meet necessary requirements for continuing education to qualify.

Those that do so can submit an application for Three Star Certification to the Tennessee Association of Assessing Officers, which is a professional organization to promote excellence through best practices and professionalism among assessors.

“We’ve met all our criteria, and we are pleased to be certified,” Washington County Assessor of Property Scott Buckingham said Tuesday. “We are in compliance with the state, and we have met our training goals.”

Meanwhile, Washington County’s budget office has been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association. Mitch Meredith, the county’s director of finance and administration, said his staff has received the award for its 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

Meredith told Washington County commissioners at their meeting Monday night he was “very proud” of his staff for their work in obtaining the award. He said county budget employees process more than 1,000 invoices and prepare 1,000 payroll checks a month.

There are less than 10 counties in Tennessee who receive certification from the GFOA,” Meredith said.

The county’s annual financial report was judged by an impartial panel and deemed to meet the high standards of the certificate program founded in 1945, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its finances.