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The county has said goodbye to another longtime employee.

Last week, a reception was held in honor of Betty Grayson, who retired Tuesday after more than 40 years of employment with Madison County. Grayson is the county’s longest serving employee, having been hired six months before V.R. Shackelford, III, who retired in September after 42 years as the county attorney.

Grayson began her employment with Madison County Nov. 17, 1975 first as administrative assistant to the then zoning administrator followed by administrative assistant to both the zoning administrator and the county administrator, and finally, as the zoning administrator. She is a wealth of county zoning knowledge, often rattling off ordinances and regulations during planning commission meetings.

“[Her knowledge] is just tremendous and the respect from everybody throughout the community is humbling; it’s something great,” board of supervisors chairman Clay Jackson said. “We are at a loss, the citizens are at a loss.”

County administrator Jack Hobbs said a lot has changed since Grayson first began her employment. He said at the time, there was no county attorney or administrator and there were only three supervisors. Hobbs said Grayson has been the key individual in upholding policy and supporting Madison County priorities.

“Madison County wouldn’t be what it is today without Betty,” he said. “[Her work has] been in preserving the countryside and preventing the things that have been indiscriminate that we see across the county lines that we generally don’t have in Madison.”

Planning commission vice chairman Mike Fisher said the nine members of the commission thank Grayson for her work. He said she will be missed.

Former supervisor Steve Hoffman spoke about working with Grayson when he was on the board. He said she followed the letter of the county’s regulations and ordinances.

“Thank you for your job that you have done for over 40 years and at times it has not been easy,” he said.

Supervisor Jonathon Weakley he’s always admired Grayson’s fairness.

“You’ve always been fair, honest but fair,” he said. “Your heart has always been in Madison. I wish you and your family the best in your retirement.”

David Jones said Grayson “has the patience of Job” and thanked her for her service.

Grayson said she’s enjoyed her time as an employee of Madison County and working with supervisors, planning commissioners and county administrators. She also thanked her co-workers and especially Carol Davis, who has worked with Grayson for 30 years. She thanked her family for supporting her including her husband, Steve, who also retired Tuesday. She said the two plan to travel and spend time with family.

“I’ve enjoyed it,” Grayson said of her time in Madison. “I plan to stick around.”

Meanwhile, the county is currently accepting applications for a county planner position which would serve as the zoning administrator. Applications are due May 10.

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Retires after 40+ years with the county

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