By Sarrah Peters
Linda Barrett-Vaughan was sworn into office as revenue commissioner for her second term Tuesday, September 29. The ceremony was held in the Etowah County Courthouse and was followed by a reception. Etowah County Commissioner Carolyn Parker presided over the ceremony.
Several elected officials attended the event, including Etowah County Commissioners Tim Choate and Lewis Fuller, Probate Judge Bobby Junkins, Judge Joe Nabors, Sheriff Todd Entrekin, State Representative Craig Ford and Circuit Clerk Cassandra Johnson, who swore in Vaughan.
Afterwards, Vaughan spoke about how much she has enjoyed working for the citizens of Etowah County. She also thanked her employees.
“You can’t do a job unless you surround yourself with wonderful people, and the employees that are here in this room that work with me on my team in the revenue commissioners office, I thank you completely for your loyalty, for your dedication, for your timeless hours that you put into that job. The frustrations, I realize you have them too. But I appreciate you, and I love you dearly. Any employee makes the leader look better.”
She also thanked the elected officials for attending.
Afterwards many spoke to the crowd about Vaughan’s work and dedication.
“I’ll say, Linda and Sam, from a legislative standpoint, thank y’all for what you do for your constituents because I heard from both of you quite often in the budget process,” said Ford. “It was very important to hear your input and how important it was to get a budget for you, the revenue department and the circuit clerk’s office. Your input was very valuable, and the job that you do is very important, and we want to thank you.”
Officials from Hokes Bluff and Glencoe thanked her for her work in setting up the satellite office in Hokes Bluff and coming herself to resolve a problem in Glencoe’s satellite office.
Parker spoke about what Vaughan contributes to the county and her friendship with Vaughan.
“She was always the person she wants all of her employees to be,” said Parker. “She was always so nice to everyone, so helpful, and she’s carried that on to the revenue office here at the county. She’s certainly been a mentor to me, a support person for me.”
Parker then read a poem titled “Better.”
“Trust me, Linda, Etowah County is better for having you,” said Parker. “I’m better for having you as a friend for the rest of my life.”
Circuit Clerk Cassandra Johnson spoke last.
“(Linda’s) an outstanding revenue commissioner,” said Johnson. “She’s very dedicated to our citizens.”
Vaughan never saw herself running for office. She was working in the City of Gadsden’s Revenue Department as certified senior revenue officer. In 2007, the previous Etowah County revenue commissioner Judy Pitts quit, and people started asking Vaughan if she would run.
Eventually she decided to run.
“I said, ‘What have I got to lose,’” said Vaughan. “It was just going to be a journey.”
It was a difficult race, with five qualified Democrats running, and Vaughan had no experience running for a political office.
She was sworn in October 1, 2008 for her first term.
“It was worth every bit of it,” said Vaughan. “ I love doing this job.”
Vaughan ran unopposed in November of last year. She will now serve another six year term as revenue commission.
“I look forward to working another six years.
Vaughan values hard work in her employees, and sets the example for them. Often, she will not be in the office, but out doing field appraisals, assessing property value or helping the satellite offices in Hokes Bluff, Sardis, Walnut Grove or Rainbow City.
Vaughan also emphasizes service and makes it a point to serve the people of Etowah County.
“This seat belongs to the people,” said Vaughan.
She invites the citizens of Etowah County to stop by her office.
“My door is always open,”said Vaughan.