The Franklin News-Post|
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Monday, August 5, 2013
By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer
Franklin County Treasurer Lynda Messenger is retiring, and a special election to replace her will be held as part of the general election on Nov. 5.
Messenger, who has been the county's treasurer since Jan. 1, 2000, has two more years left on her current term but said she is ready to turn her attention to family. Her retirement will be effective Nov. 15.
"I really did not want to run again the last time (in 2011)," she said. "Some health issues had slowed me down."
But she said the county at that time was in the process of making many changes in online access and she wanted to see that through.
"Now I want to step away and spend some more time with my family and do some community things," she said.
Messenger said she made the decision to announce her retirement now so the special election could be part of the general election rather than be scheduled by itself.
"I didn't want a special election that would cost the county about $28,000," she said.
Messenger started working in the treasurer's office part time in 1987, switched to full time in 1988 and won the office in 1999.
"I'm excited about retiring," she said. "But we have great people here, and I love working with the public. I enjoy that."
Messenger said many county residents whom she has helped and worked with over the years she considers friends.
"We have always strived to help people understand the tax issues and payments," she said. "We try to (find ways to) help people pay their taxes."
Messenger praised her staff in the office.
"They are a great group of ladies and they work extremely hard," she said. "We all work very well together to help the public, and I am proud of that."
Messenger said she has seen many changes during her tenure in the treasurer's office, including the computerization of the work.
County residents can now pay their taxes online, a drastic change from doing everything by hand, she said.
Although she will miss the work and her colleagues, she said, family is a priority.
Messenger and her husband, Henry, who is now semi-retired, have three children and five grandchildren.
"It's a blessing to have family," she said.
Anyone interested in running for the office must file with the county registrar's office by 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16. Part of that process is the requirement to have a petition with the names of at least 125 Franklin County registered voters.
Whomever is elected treasurer on Nov. 5 will fill the last two year's of Messenger's four-year term.