Thirty-one years, eight elections and numerous controversies later Meredith
has decided to call it quits.
has been the most outspoken critic of the new software over the last three years.Glitches have slowed the processing of tax bills and caused incorrect notices to be sent to taxpayers.While the system has improved over the last year, problems remain and Meredith
isn't optimistic that it will ever be straightened out.
"The last few years have been the most difficult years that I've spent in the treasurer's office," he
said."It's been this long ordeal."
But computer problems notwithstanding, Meredith
time as treasurer.
"The nice people by far override the chronic complainers you get," he
...Meredith, pastor at Riverview Holiness Church in Ellett, would ask angry taxpayers to come into his office and discuss their problems.
Once they were in his
office, they usually calmed down, he
"Some people would really get fired up, but that's part of the job," he
recalled one citi-
zen who questioned the appropriateness of the Bible he
keeps on his
"If this office is too good for that book to be in it then it's too good for me to be in it," he
Growing up in Giles and Pulaski counties, Meredith
father taught him not to back down from confrontations if he
was right.That attitude planted Meredith
in the middle of several controversies during his
filed lawsuits five times in his
first eight years in office against the state compensation board because he
believed it wasn't providing his
office with enough funds.He
won every time with the board settling out of court twice.The board settled again when he
filed another suit in 1996 to prevent the board from taking three positions away from his
That same year a former employee was cleared of a charge of curse and abuse against Meredith
stemming from comments she
made the day she
fired Cindy Vanhoozier in November 1995 because she
took a treasurer's office document to the commissioner of revenue without his
permission.The incident was a day after Commissioner of Revenue Nancy Miller defeated Meredith's protege Helen St. Clair in a hotly contested election.Meredith accused then Commissioner of Revenue Robertine Jordan of neglecting her office's duties while her employees were working on Miller's campaign.
most public criticism for the board of supervisors in 1988.Tired of hearing complaints from people unhappy with a property tax increase, Meredith
posted a sign listing the names and numbers of the four board members who voted for it underneath bold red and blue lettering that read, "Unhappy with your tax increase?"
But despite some well-publicized flare-ups Meredith
relationship with the county government as "up and down."He
is proud that his
office has raised $22.7 million for the county through investments and said he
never could have done it without his
plans to spend more time with his
35-year-old daughter, Veronia Esther Meredith.She
suffers from rheumatoid arthritis that has led to surgery to replace her
hips, knuckles and left knee.He will continue preaching at Riverview Holiness and plans to do plenty of hunting and fishing.
"At my age I felt if I was going to enjoy my retirement I had to get out," he
said."I'll stay busy."