Pentecost misses her friend but settling into job

STEVE NASH steve.nash@brownwoodbulletin.com
Christine Pentecost

Christine Pentecost is pictured during a candidates forum last month at Heartland Mall. 

Christine Pentecost is still a bit startled when she hears someone on her staff say "hi, Cheryl" when an employee of a local auto dealership visits the county tax assessor-collector's office.

Pentecost, who has been county tax assessor-collector for nearly seven months, immediately thinks of her friend and predecessor, Cheryl Nelson. Nelson died last Aug. 23 from cardiopulmonary arrest, and county commissioners appointed Pentecost as Nelson's replacement.

Pentecost ran unopposed for a new term in the March 4 Republican Party primary, and she will not have a Democratic challenger in the November general election.

Pentecost still misses Nelson, but she's settled into a job she said she loves. "I enjoy people. I have such a good group of women that I work for," Pentecost said.

While Pentecost answered questions about how she'd adjusting to the elected office she now holds, Pentecost had actually sought out a reporter to talk about a couple of laws recently enacted:

• People purchasing a vehicle in Texas must now show present a photo identification to obtain a title and registration.

The identification rule passed by the board of the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles is required as part of two state laws that mandate identification for titling a vehicle and first-time registrants, Pentecost said. The law does not apply to registration renewals.

Vehicles will be titled in your legal name as it appears on your identification, and if your name has changed, you will need to have your ID corrected before the purchase, Pentecost said.

• Farmers and ranchers who register any type of farm vehicle must have a state comptroller-issued Texas Agricultural or Timber Exemption number. They are required to have that number before obtaining farm license plates and/or temporary excess weight permits, Pentecost said.

The requirement will weed out those taking advantage of the system that offers farmers and ranchers reduced vehicle registration and tax-free exemptions on some sales, Pentecost said.

"I would like for them to have all they need before they come in here," Pentecost said. "If they have to make several trips, it does get frustrating.  "We want to make it as easy as possible."