Murray eager to work as county administrator

Published 12:14 am Monday, July 26, 2010

NATCHEZ — When Natchez native Joe Murray learned the local branch of his office was closing six years ago he was devastated.

But looking back on it, Murray said he is sure now more than ever that everything happens for a reason.

Murray said his commuting job with the Mississippi State Tax Commission in the Brookhaven, where he worked as a special agent revenue officer, has prepared him to accept the job of Adams County administrator.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors voted to hire Murray July 19 to replace interim administrator Charlie Brown.

Murray has been working for the state tax commission, now called the Mississippi Department of Revenue, for 19 years.

“The agency has been good to me, (there are) great people that I work with,” Murray said.

But Murray ultimately decided to take the job for a few reasons.

“I felt like this was a way to better myself, give myself more opportunity to serve the county,” Murray said.

Murray said his family was a factor in the decision to apply for the county administrator job, despite being happily employed.

Murray’s position in Brookhaven opened him up to many great opportunities to “wear many hats,” and take on lots of responsibility, but the commute was cutting into family time.

Murray said he never considered uprooting his wife and three children from his hometown to Brookhaven or the main office in Clinton.

“I love Natchez. I love my town,” Murray said.

Murray said his wife Shannon, a surgical nurse at Natchez Community Hospital who he has been married to for 14 years, will be relieved from worrying about Murray’s twice-a-day commutes now that he has taken the county job.

Murray said his ties to Natchez are what keep him here. He was born and raised in Natchez and attended Cathedral School.

His children Cooper, 11, Conner, 9, and Hannah, 6, attend Cathedral, as well.

After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi with a degree in personal management, Murray took a job at the state tax commission and has been there ever since.

Although Murray said he will be sad to leave his old job and co-workers, he is excited about his new position and thinks he has potential to do very well.

“I enjoy working,” Murray said.

Another good trade off of the new gig?

“I had the type of job where you have to collect taxes…You’re somebody’s ‘tax man’…‘county administrator’ has a little better ring to it,” Murray said.