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New EMA Director, Code Compliance Director and Chief Appraiser Introduced

Forsyth County introduces three new directors

Tom Cisco has been named director of the Forsyth County Emergency Management Agency (EMA). Cisco is replacing former EMA Director Chris Grimes after his departure in January.

Cisco brings 22 years of EMA experience and knowledge to the County, serving previously as the Deputy Director or Emergency Management for Volusia County, FL.

“We are thrilled to bring Tom’s knowledge of emergency management planning and execution during crises events, both manmade and natural, to Forsyth County,” said County Manager David McKee. “The EMA team is vital to our community’s safety and is often unnoticed for the tremendous work they do in emergency preparedness and operation which is ultimately a great testament to ensuring the County is prepared for any event.”

In his role at Volusia County, Cisco was responsible for planning, directing and managing the operation of the Emergency Management Division. He successfully led Volusia County’s Emergency Operations Center through Hurricanes Matthew, Irma, Dorian, Isaias, Ian and Nicole.

Cisco has also served in emergency management in Madison County, FL and in Shelby County, OH.

He is a graduate of American Military University with a bachelor’s degree in Emergency and Disaster Management. Cisco also served in the U.S. Army with Honorable Discharge.

For more information on the Forsyth County EMA, visit their webpage on or click here.

Jerry Ramos has been named Director of the Forsyth County Code Compliance Department which oversees Code Compliance, Animal Services, Park Rangers and the Animal Shelter. Ramos is replacing former Code Enforcement Director John Mullin.

Ramos brings a 30-year career in security, law enforcement and military service to the County, serving previously as the Director of Security and Loss Prevention for Koch Development Corporation.

“We are excited to bring Jerry to Forsyth County to lead Code Compliance,” said Assistant County Manager Brandon Kenney. “Jerry has a wealth of knowledge in law enforcement, and he will play a crucial role in developing partnerships with our citizens and those who conduct business in Forsyth County, to preserve and improve quality of life issues by providing Forsyth County with a safe, healthy and quality environment.”

Ramos is a gulf war era army veteran and his career in law enforcement includes roles as a K9 Handler, SRO, Lieutenant, Captain, Operations Commander and Chief of Police. He is a graduate of the NE Georgia Police Academy and Georgia Association Chief of Police Executive Training. He also has attended training at the Regional Community Policing Institute, Emergency Management Institute, Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.

He holds multiple certifications including Certified Homeland Protection Professional, Nuclear Security Officer and Georgia Peace Officer.

“I am excited to be here and look forward to collaborating with the Board of Commissioners, Administration and staff to better the community,” said Ramos. “I place a high importance on community involvement, public safety and security with the knowledge that these are shared responsibilities and that we cannot tackle them on our own.”

For more information on the Forsyth County Code Compliance Department, visit their webpage on or click here.

Joel Benton was named director of the Forsyth County Board of Assessors and Chief Appraiser in Nov. 2022, replacing former Director/Chief Appraiser Mary Kirkpatrick. Benton brings a 20-plus-year career in assessment to the County, serving previously as the chief appraiser for Fayette County, GA since 2007.

“My goal as chief appraiser is to oversee the diligent investigation of all real and personal property subject to taxation and to continuously maintain fair and equitable assessments of all property within the county so that each taxpayer pays only their fair and proportionate share of taxes,” said Benton.

Benton’s career in assessment also includes roles as an appraiser with Fayette County beginning as an appraiser aide in 1993 the becoming and appraiser I, II, III and IV before taking the chief appraiser role.

The mission of Forsyth County's Tax Assessors Office is to produce an annual tax digest that conforms to the requirements of Georgia law and the rules and regulations of the Georgia Department of Revenue.

The Board of Tax Assessors is responsible for determining what real and personal property is subject to taxation in Forsyth County, estimating the market value and administration of the various type of homestead and other property tax exemptions.

For more information on the Forsyth County Board of Assessors and Tax Assessor’s Office, visit their webpage on or click here.

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