Fayette County

County Democratic Party leader named Fayette PVA

David O'Neill, the Fayette County Democratic Party chairman, was appointed Fayette County Property Valuation Administrator by Gov. Steve Beshear on Wednesday.

O'Neill replaces Renee True, who retired on Jan. 1 from the post she had held for 16 years. True worked in the PVA office for more than 23 years.

"Mr. O'Neill has extensive experience in business and as a community and civic leader," said Jay Blanton, Beshear's spokesman. "His background in technology, in particular, should be beneficial in enhancing the operations of this vitally important office."

O'Neill, 42, will serve out the remaining two years on True's term. She was most recently re-elected to the position in 2006.

O'Neill will be making $87,000. His start date will be no later than March 1.

He will leave his job as senior operations manager at Equibase, a Thoroughbred racing data collection service.

"My experience is overseeing a lot of data and computer processes," O'Neill said. "It really is, in my opinion, a perfect match against my résumé."

O'Neill said he was interested in the PVA position because he wants to serve the public.

"I will do my job as ethically as humanly possible," O'Neill said. "The office should really stress customer service. Most of the contact in that office with the voters and taxpayers are people asking questions about their tax bill or asking if they are taxed on their property properly. They deserve to be heard, and I plan on doing that as fair as we know how to be."

O'Neill said he will step down as chairman of the Fayette County Democratic Party, but his resignation won't be immediate because he doesn't want to leave the party in a lurch. He has been county chairman for nearly four years.

O'Neill was one of several people who passed a qualification test to even be considered for the Fayette PVA post.

The others who passed the test are:

■ William E. Harper, True's husband.

■ Dallam B. Harper, the former chairman of the Urban County Planning Commission.

■ Jason R. Ladd

■ Carolyn S. Logan

■ Michael F. McGuire

■ George G. Myers, the District 8 Urban County Council representative

■ Daniel L. Springfield

■ Michael K. Tackett

■ Alvin M. Underwood

■ Debbie Warth

■ Jay L. Whitehead, Lexington's former chief administrative officer.

■ Jaclynn A. Williams

Renee True also passed the qualification test. Beshear could have chosen True to serve out the rest of her term. The governor's office took True's retirement "as an indication of her desire to leave the job," Blanton said.