Suzanne Houlden: Settlements prove we need new assessor

May 6, 2014 

Recent letters to the editor state that retaining the current appointed county tax assessor is the right choice because no training would be required. Then I read “Legal settlements cost county $12.4 million” (Page A1, May 4). The table on page A14 listed legal settlements paid by the county in the first three months of 2014 for various lawsuits and claims. The largest were to resolve disputes with nine cities in Stanislaus County over $2.53-plus million in property tax administration fees charged since 2006.

This illustrates why electing an incumbent would not be in the best interests of Stanislaus homeowners and farmers. While the current assessor was not appointed until 2013, he was part of the assessor team during the years represented in the lawsuits and was therefore part of the machinery that led to them. He says the position is a technical one, not “political.” Strong leadership is critical in any elected role, regardless of the level of technicality involved. Turlock Councilwoman Amy Bublak has a proven track record of leadership and fiscal management, and supports Proposition 13. Change appears to be called for in this race and my vote will be for Bublak.

SUZANNE HOULDEN

Turlock

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