FARMINGTON -- County officials were mourning the loss of a Centerville couple Sunday as they learned of an accident that took their lives.
Ross Bartholomew, 63, and his wife, Patricia, 59, were killed Saturday when their motorcycle was struck on Mirror Lake Highway near Kamas.
Davis officials confirmed that Ross Bartholomew was the same man who was heading up a fairly new department in the county.
Bartholomew was the director of Davis County Tax Administration.
"We created his job only in the last couple of years," said County Commissioner Bret Millburn. "He's done an excellent job in streamlining our property tax appeals process."
Millburn said Bartholomew was a well-respected department head who brought a lot of positive energy to the county's executive team.
"He really knows his stuff," Millburn said. "He's really going to be missed.
Davis County Commissioner John Petroff Jr. said Bartholomew was "a great individual."
"He was personally one of the nicest people you would ever meet," he said. "He will be missed not only for the work he does, but he's just a nice person."
A former Utah State Tax Commission employee and an 11-year chief deputy to the Davis County treasurer, Bartholomew started in his directorship with the county in 2009, just as 95,000 property tax advance notices were being mailed to residents.
His job began as he oversaw the 45-day property tax season when appeals to the taxes could be made by residents and heard by the board of equalization.
He was hired after 6,000 filed appeals disputed previous appraisals within the county in 2008.
During the 2009 season, 4,100 appeals were filed with the county. Officials blamed a dip in housing values for the large number of appeals in both of those years.
Among the changes Bartholomew made was adding screening officers who quickly looked over cases filed with the county.
At that time, he said about one in three cases were solved by the officers as taxpayers walked in the door.
Davis County commissioners praised the tax administrator repeatedly in public meetings.
Under Bartholomew's direction, Davis County switched to appraising property based on computer modeling, something many larger counties already had implemented. The county also began prescreening appraisals, to help reduce errors and appeals.