Commissioners Court Thanks Retiring Tax Assessor-Collector Caraway for her Service; Appoints Chief Deputy Jenifer O’Kane to Office
Hays County Courthouse, San Marcos, TX – The Hays County Commissioners Court accepted the resignation of long-time Tax Assessor-Collector Luanne Caraway on Tuesday and appointed her Chief Deputy Jenifer O’Kane to fill Caraway’s unexpired term beginning March 1. The Court thanked Caraway for her service, and congratulated O’Kane on her appointment.
O’Kane, a graduate of Texas A&M University, has served as the second-in-charge for almost nine years and previously worked in the private sector in human resources outsourcing and for a small family business.
“My main focus over the next nearly two years is to ensure a smooth transition after Luanne’s retirement,” O’Kane said. “I want to make sure we retain the same level of customer service that she has created in her career with the county.”
Caraway was appointed as Tax Assessor-Collector in May of 1994 to fill an unexpired term and was elected to the office in November of that same year. She is credited with tightening processes for handling payments and for opening substations in Dripping Springs, Kyle, and Wimberley, as well as cross-training staff.
Precinct 2 Mark Jones, who has known Caraway since they were childhood neighbors, said, “Your legacy is that you’ve done your job with integrity and honesty, and how you’ve passed that on to your staff.”
Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe said that Caraway’s friendship and assistance over the years were especially meaningful to her.
Caraway has served on the boards of the Texas Association of Counties and the Department of Motor Vehicles, and on the board of the Tax Assessor Collector Association, an organization that named her Tax Assessor-Collector of the Year in 2009 and honored her with the President’s Award in 1998, 2011, and 2013.
Caraway thanked the Court and previous Courts for their support and assistance over the years. “I’ve truly enjoyed the job, although I haven’t always enjoyed the politics,” she said. “I especially want to thank my current and previous staff because I could not have done my job without them.”
Left to right: Precinct 2 Commissioner Mark Jones, Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe, County Judge Ruben Becerra, Property Tax Supervisor Elizabeth Shahan, Motor Vehicle Supervisor Mary Garza, Retired Chief Deputy Paulette Brown, Specialist Jessica Gonzales, Chief Deputy (and beginning March 1, Tax Assessor-Collector) Jenifer O’Kane, retired Accountant Nancy Heathman, Precinct 3 Commissioner Lon Shell, and Precinct 4 Commissioner Walt Smith.