The Saline County Quorum Court has selected Holly Simmerman as the new county tax collector to fill the space vacated by Joy Ballard due to her retirement. Ballard's career will expire at the end of the month.
Simmerman has served as the chief deputy in the tax collector’s office for the past five years.
With more than nine years of experience in local government and expertise in the management and operations within the tax collector’s office, Simmerman is ready to begin her new role.
“I’m excited,” Simmerman said. “Happy, but still nervous.”
In her duties as chief deputy, Simmerman oversaw the collection and disbursement of county funds from annual property taxes, reconciled multiple bank accounts for the office and maintained compliance with Legislative Audit.
Additionally, Simmerman also was responsible for the opening and closing of tax books, including land certification and final settlements, office payroll and scheduling. She also managed staff, performed employee assessments and served as a liaison between county offices, officials and the community.
Prior to serving as chief deputy, Simmerman served as office supervisor and deputy collector with the tax office.
Simmerman graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science degree in human resource management.
Ballard announced her retirement earlier this year.
“She will certainly be missed,” said Saline County Judge Jeff Arey. “But, we wish her the best of luck in her retirement.”
Arey said that Ballard has a long history of serving the county well, including time as an executive assistant to former County Judge Lanny Fite for 10 years before being elected as collector.
First elected in 2010, Ballard began her most recent term in January 2018. Her current term ends Dec. 22, 2022.
The justices of the peace also interviewed Ken Yang and Terese Brown for the position. Kaitlin King also initially submitted her resume for consideration, but withdrew her name as a candidate prior to Monday night’s meeting.
Simmerman will serve as collector through the end of 2022, but will not be eligible to run again for the same office at the the end of the term.
“I felt like this was a wonderful opportunity that opened itself up and I just couldn’t pass it up,” Simmerman said. “My goal was to run for collector at some point in the future. I just felt like this was something I couldn’t pass up.”