Longtime Georgetown County Assessor Susan Edwards stepped down from her role this year, promoting Deputy Assessor Tim Holt into the position.
Holt took over leadership of the Assessor’s Office on Jan. 1. Edwards, who has worked for the county for more than 50 years and served as Assessor since 2003, will move into the role of Deputy Assessor. Though she isn’t intending to retire anytime soon, the move is part of her succession plan, she said, helping to ensure the office will run smoothly without her someday. She handpicked Holt as her deputy back in 2013 and the two have worked closely together over the last decade.
“It has gone very smoothly. I’m not making a lot of changes,” Holt said. “Susan has a very good working relationship with everybody in our office and she had a system that was already working. I’m looking to do things a little different, but I’m not making change for the sake of change. I’ll make changes if I see areas where we can really improve, and those will come as we need them, not all at once.”
He’s mainly looking to streamline operations and improve efficiency. That’s a process Edwards got started last year by signing a $123,400 contract with Advanced Imaging Systems to digitize the department’s records. The records are now all cloud-based.
“We’re trying to get away from so much paperwork and do a lot more electronically,” Holt said. “It lightens the load on the staff and just makes everything work more efficiently.”
More than 65,000 paper files were eliminated through scanning, freeing up enough physical space to add another office. That will allow the Assessor to look at expanding staffing at some point in the future. Being able to access files from anywhere will also help the county if there’s ever another incident like the COVID-19 pandemic that requires staff to work from home.
Holt joined the Georgetown County Assessor’s Office in 2011 as a field appraiser and was promoted in 2013 to Deputy Assessor. He previously worked as a fee appraisal agent for banks. He is a graduate of Conway High School and studied at Horry-Georgetown Technical College and the Fortune Academy of Real Estate.