Letters to the Editor | VailDaily.com

Letters to the Editor

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Not a fanAfter working for Eagle County Assessor Joyce Mack for the last 3.5 years, I am still amazed that she can put such a spin on a question.The question is why does it matter if the assessor holds a license?Is she forgetting that she promised in her last campaign that she would get her license? Has she forgotten that this was her main complaint about her predecessor? Don’t forget that she led us all to believe back in March that she had her license when she said, “I have taken the test and filled out the paperwork.” Don’t forget that she has wasted your tax dollars by taking 200 hours of education and she still cannot pass the same test that her entry-level appraisers are required to pass within the first two years of employment.Don’t be fooled, the Eagle County Assessor’s Office has never failed the state audit. This is due to the integrity and work ethic and knowledge of the staff, not anything Ms. Mack did.As far as the drop in the number of appeals that she is again bragging about, she has no control over that process. When the sale prices of homes go up, the assessor’s value goes up, and the number of appeals goes up. The market dictates those numbers, not Ms. Mack.Next question: What other skills does an assessor need?Ms. Mack talks about being nominated by the president of the Colorado Assessor’s Association to attend a training program at the University of Colorado. No. 1: The person whom she says nominated her on the Eagle County Web site is the first vice president. Second, my investigation of this claim found that the prestigious program is costing the taxpayers of Eagle County $3,500.I believe it shows a lack of ability on Ms. Mack’s part when she has to ask the state Division of Property Taxation to come and run the Eagle County Assessor’s Office. I believe this is the first time that has ever happened in Eagle County. I know for a fact that it hasn’t happened in the past 28 years. We, the taxpayers that she says she answers to, will foot the bill for this lack of ability also. (The state doesn’t do this for nothing.)Next question: When should the assessor adjust the value on a taxpayer’s home?Ms. Mack must have pulled out her books to answer this one. Remember the campaign contributors that she ordered the value to be lowered even though the appraiser in that area did not agree, the chief appraiser and the deputy assessor both advised against it.Remember that those contributors had already appealed at the assessor level and to the county Board of Equalization and were denied an adjustment. After that is when Ms. Mack insisted that the change be made. There was no justification to support that value change. I know that my value did not go down in 2003. But then my taxes were not anywhere near $14,800 for the year. Remember those folks saved over $3,500 for the 2003 and 2004 tax years.I have worked for Ms. Mack for her entire term and I have worked with Ed Smith for about a year longer than that. I can tell you that the difference between the two is like night and day. By voting for Ed Smith, you will be getting someone who knows the inner workings of the Assessor’s Office intimately. Vote for Joyce Mack and you will become intimately acquainted with the employees of the state Division of Property Taxation. If Ms. Mack can’t run her office now what makes anyone believe she will be able to run it for the next four years.Sandy SkilesBurnsEditor’s note: Mack asked the state for an evaluation of progress of her office with a couple of projects. Initial reports were positive.Coulter’s rightOn July 20, Ann Coulter wrote in Front Page Magazine (Leftists: Born to Run) that: “Some have argued that Israel’s response is disproportionate, which is actually correct: It wasn’t nearly strong enough. I know this because there are parts of South Lebanon still standing.”Israel has warned all Lebanese south of the Litani River to move north so as not to provide human shields for Hezbollah terrorists. Those who have chosen to stay because they want to shield Hezbollah are not innocent civilians. Those whom Hezbollah has forced to stay are victims of Hezbollah terror, not Israeli self defense.As long as all kidnapped Israeli soldiers have not been returned to their homes, Israel’s military response has by definition been insufficient. As long as the Hezbollah refuses to release all Israeli prisoners, I believe that Ann Coulter’s approach is sound, not only for Israel but in the interests of America’s war on Islamic terror as well.Arthur KittayEagleVail, Colorado

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