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Changes coming to Oxford on July 1
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Changes are coming on July 1 to how the city of Oxford is governed.

The Oxford City Council on Monday made two interim appointments permanent, with Clark R. Miller to serve as city manager and Lauran Willis as city clerk.

Willis, who had served as deputy clerk, replaces longtime city clerk Carol Poole, who retired on Feb. 28. Willis has worked with the city since January 2000.

The city manager position is new, marking a change in the form of government for Oxford. Miller, the police chief, has served double duty since March as interim city clerk.

The changes are effective July 1.

Miller will continue to serve as chief and city manager, but Lt. W.D. Harvey will be responsible for day-to-day operation of the department through the end of the year. At year's end, the city will determine if it will fill the chief's position.

"Right now, we're not looking for a new chief and we're not looking to add staff," Miller said Tuesday.

The city is switching to a full-time city manager form of government because of the complexities entailed in running a municipality of its size.

It's also switching its fiscal year from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 to July 1 through June 30. The July 1 start day will align Oxford's fiscal year with that of other local governments.

Miller has been with the city for three years. He served 10 years as an administrative assistant with the DeKalb County Police Department.

Mayor Jerry Roseberry on Monday also noted that has been notified that Gov. Nathan Deal has signed local legislation to allow a vote on a $10,000 exemption for owner-occupied homes. In a home valued at $142,600 with an assessed value of $57,000, a homeowner who qualifies for the exemption would pay $40 less a year in property taxes, while the owner of a rental property would pay $30 more.

The proposal will be voted on by city residents in the November General Election. If passed in November, a homestead exemption would take effect in 2012.