Trustees dropped the ball on assessor decision

Dec. 1, 2009

Editor's note: Patricia Rollinger is a resident of Germantown and works for Grota Appraisals, the company that currently does the assessment work in Germantown.

Public Forum:

Get the same service at one-third the price! I'm sure we have all heard similar claims and disregarded them because we all know if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Recently, the Germantown trustees voted to hire a new assessor for less than one-third the price they paid the assessor last year.

Let's see what accepting the bid of $29,500 will not get Germantown residents:

• You no longer have a local assessor. Accurate Appraisals' office is located in Menasha.

• You no longer have an assessor that assesses 13 other municipalities in Washington County and is very familiar with the area.

• You no longer have an assessor that will view and list Personal Property accounts. Per Accurate's proposal, the village must provide them a list of businesses rather than collecting data themselves.

Three years ago when Grota Appraisals took over as Germantown's assessor, they uncovered $4.5 million in omitted value and assessment errors. They added $4.1 million to the Personal Property roll that had been omitted. A low priced assessor, that the village chose in order to save money, caused these errors.

The trustees made this vote without one word of discussion. Obviously they had already made their decision outside of the board room and didn't want the discussion to be made on public record. I no longer have any "trust" in my trustees to make prudent decisions.

Patricia Rollinger

Germantown

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