Johnston County Board
of Commissioners

report from January 7 sessions

Ted Godwin

The "State of the County" 

annual report from Chairman Ted Godwin,

Johnston County Board of Commissioners

Highlights of the past year include:
• 6th consecutive bond issue for schools approved
  overwhelmingly by Johnston County's voters
• Site east of Smithfield secured for new Public Safety
  Center including replacement for Courthouse jail
• Property-tax rate unchanged for 20th straight year

Here's the full text of the report ...

Real-estate revaluation update 

The County Commissioners got a report from Tax Administrator Jocelyn Andrews on initial reaction from taxpayers to real-estate revaluation notices mailed out December 31. As of first thing Monday, she noted, 388 appeals had been initiated by taxpayers questioning the new values assigned to their properties.

She said she had anticipated a higher number than that during the first week.
"We know there are taxpayers we need to hear from," she told commissioners. "We can't see everything from the street... and we don't go inside everyone's home," she said. "We want to be fair to everyone."

Ms. Andrews encouraged taxpayers with concerns about the new valuations to start the appeals process by visiting the Tax Office's website at

Commissioner Tony Braswell asked if it were "fact or fiction" that the county would only accept bank appraisals from taxpayers seeking adjustments. Not so, Ms. Andrews replied: "We'll take anything" taxpayers can provide to challenge valuations, including photos.

A reminder: Your actual tax bill for 2019 won't be determined until the County Commissioners and municipal governments adopt their annual budgets, including property-tax rates, this spring.

Recreation tax district for Cleveland? 

The commissioners agreed to schedule a couple of public meetings "as soon as possible" to test citizens' support for a proposed recreation tax district encompassing the McLemore Fire District in Cleveland Township. At Monday evening's session, Denton Lee asked for the board's support of efforts by the newly formed Cleveland Community Parks and Recreation Association to purchase an 82-acre tract at the intersection of Matthews and Polenta roads for a proposed park.
The group has secured an option to purchase the land for $1.7 million, Mr. Lee noted. A property-tax rate of 4 cents per $100 valuation is a preliminary estimate for revenue required to fund the project, he added.

Restrictions on high-powered rifles? 

Scott Fleming of New Creech Road north of Selma
asked commissioners to consider rules banning the use of "high powered" rifles in rural Johnston County. "There are a lot of irresponsible shooters in my neck of the woods," he said, citing a recent incident where a stray bullet went through the walls of a neighbor's home. Fortunately, no one was at home at the time, he noted. County Manager Rick Hester offered to arrange a meeting with Mr. Fleming and a representative of the Sheriff's Department to address the issue.

Appointments to local planning boards 

The commissioners approved appointments to several municipal planning boards: Benson --- Sherry Lockamy and Joshua Hefner; Clayton --- James Lipscomb; Pine Level --- Tammy Register; Selma --- Larry Capps; Smithfield --- Mark Lane. They will serve as representatives of the town's extraterritorial jurisdictions.

Commissioners get assignments 

Ted Godwin, who was elected chairman of the Board of Commissioners last month, issued his list of assignments to various boards and committees by his fellow commissioners:

Tony Braswell
Finance Committee, County Planning Board, Social Services Board, Community & Senior Services and JCATS (Johnston County Area Transit System)

Jeff Carver
Fire Tax/EMS Budget Committee, Hospital Authority, Western Johnston Regional Water & Sewer Authority, Research & Training Zone Board

Patrick Harris
Public Health Board, EMS Advisory Committee, Finance Committee, Local Emergency Planning Committee

Butch Lawter
CAMPO (Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization) representative, Triangle J Council of Governments delegate, Johnston Community College Board of Trustees, Johnston County Sports Council representative

Chad Stewart
Juvenile Crime Prevention Council Board, Fire Tax/EMS Budget Committee, Nursing Home/Adult Care Home Community Board, Tobacco Farm Life Museum, Firemen's Association, Partnership for Children

Larry Wood
Residential Subdivision Paving Committee, Fire Tax/EMS Budget Committee, Heritage Commission, Library Board of Trustees, Voluntary Ag District Board

Chairman Godwin will serve on:
NCDOT's Rural Planning Organization, Highway 70 Corridor Commission, County Transportation Committee, US 70 Economic Impact Study Steering Committee, Western Johnston Regional Water & Sewer Authority, Hospital Authority, Finance Committee