In a recent letter from Mr. Bell, he stated that he attended the June 18 meeting at Sun City concerning the inequities that exist within the current tax bills in Rutland and Grafton townships. He was concerned that neither I nor Assessor Ottley attended this meeting.
The presentation given by Mark Armstrong was given solely to explain why taxes bills increased, the cause of those increases and the possible solution to this problem. Apparently Mr. Bell missed the point of the meeting.
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From the initial concept of the meeting I was not invited to participate in the presentation but had hoped to attend as a spectator to glean insight to the problem that exists and to be able to answer any questions from constituents should they arise.
It was always my intent to attend the meeting, as many people will verify. Unfortunately, Mr. Bell made no effort to determine the reason for my absence. Had he done so he would have found out that a family medical emergency prevented me from leaving the emergency room of a hospital.
At 7 a.m. the morning of the 18th, I contacted the program moderator to inform him of my dilemma, i.e. leave my husband or attend the meeting. I felt my husband needed me more than anyone at Sun City did.
I asked the moderator not to pass this information on at that time as it was undetermined what the outcome of this situation would be.
It is unfortunate that Mr. Bell feels I am not worthy of the public trust. I take my job very seriously and do understand the frustration felt over the present tax situation. It is also unfortunate that some people lack the common sense to pass judgment without having all of the facts in hand. I doubt my or Mr. Ottley's presence would have changed the outcome of the meeting. We both have regular office hours and are always available to answer questions from taxpayers.
I sincerely hope that others who attended the meeting left with a better understanding of the situation and the remedies that will hopefully prevent this tax problem from happening in the future.
Janet A. Siers
Rutland Township Assessor