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County treasurer, commissioner of the revenue run unopposed

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By John Barnhart

    Both Faye Eubank, Bedford County’s commissioner of the revenue, and Rebecca C. “Becky” Jones, Bedford County’s treasurer, were their predecessors’ chief deputy before being elected to their respective offices. Both the commissioner of the revenue and the treasurer are constitutional officers. Eubank and Jones are both running unopposed this year.

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    Eubank has been commissioner of the revenue since Jan. 1, 1992. She won the office in a three-way race to replace Lucille Boggess, who retired that year, and has run unopposed ever since.
    “I went to work for Lucille Boggess in January of 1968,” Eubank said.
    Eubank, a Bedford native, graduated from Liberty High School and said she grew  up  with her job.
    “I went to work here when I was 19,” she said.
    Eubank was hired as a deputy commissioner of the revenue. She said that she learned how the office functioned because Boggess encouraged all her employees to learn all parts of the job.
    “Lucille was a wonderful mentor,” Eubank commented.
    This emphasis on cross training is something that Eubank has continued. It’s especially valuable now to have all her deputies know each other’s jobs due to budget cuts that all county departments have experienced in recent years. She said that she has one less employee now than she had in 1992.
    Eubank was Boggess’ chief deputy when Boggess retired and Eubank ran for the office.
    According to Eubank, the commissioner of the revenue is charged by state law and the board of supervisors’ ordinances to equitably assess all items of personal property and real estate in the county. This is compiled into a book that goes to the treasurer who is charged with collecting the tax money. Tax rates are set by the supervisors each year.
    Eubank is coming back for another term for two reasons. The primary reason is that she likes the job.
    “I’ve always enjoyed my job,” she said. “I enjoy working with people. I enjoy problem solving.”
    Eubank also believes that her 20 years of experience will make Bedford’s reversion to town status a smooth process. Bedford’s reversion is expected to become official during Eubank’s next term.
    “That would be hard for a new person to come into,” she said.
    Rebecca Jones’ job is to collect the county’s taxes. She’s been doing this since Jan. 1, 2004, when she was first elected. Jones ran to fill the office after Norma Edwards retired. Jones, who had been Edwards’ chief deputy for 12 years, ran unopposed and never has had an opponent since.    
    Jones was originally hired in the late 1980s as a deputy treasurer by Edna Murray, Edwards’ predecessor. Prior to that, she had worked in real estate for 19 years.
    A native of Roanoke, Jones came to Bedford County when she was 8 and graduated from Staunton River High School. She has an associate’s degree in accounting from Virginia Western Community College.
    Jones said that she had worked every job in the treasurer’s office prior to being elected to the job. This included filling in at one of the windows when needed. She also said that she learned a great deal working for Murray and Edwards over the years.
    The treasurer’s office is involved with state code and county ordinances on a daily basis. Jones said that she and her staff frequently have to take classes to keep up.
    The office has changed quite a bit over the years. When Jones first started as a deputy treasurer the county had no director of fiscal management. As a result, the treasurer’s office did a great deal of bookkeeping work and that was one of her duties back then.
    Since she became treasurer, she’s overseen some changes. The office now accepts credit and debit cards at the window. She also had a hand in getting rid of those county decals that everybody used to have to stick on their windshields each year, scraping off the old one first.
    “I was instrumental in getting rid of the decal,” Jones said.    
    Jones said that she pushed for this change because the decals created a great deal of work for her office for the amount of revenue they brought in. In addition to having to handle thousands of these decals, there were the expenses incurred for having them printed and the postage involved in mailing them.
    
    “I am proud of my staff and the work that we do for the citizens,” Jones said, and noted that they maintain a high collection rate for taxes owed.