The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Current assessor responds to comments


October 11, 2018

To The Eagle:

A few of last week’s letters to the editor about my candidacy deserve a response.

Mary Gustafson questioned my integrity due to a structure on my wife’s property. She should get her facts straight. My wife owns the property where I live. The title is in her name along with her late first husband. I have no ownership interest in her property. She has lived here for over 40 years. She is Finnish. She built the mökki on her land. Mary attributes everything about the mökki to me.

It’s no secret that Michael Baccellieri launched Brian McClain’s candidacy and is tapping his friends to attack my integrity because of how his property was valued. His obsession has grown beyond reporting the mökki to authorities to creepily spying on my wife from across the slough or when driving by, to which I say – Knock it off! Picking on her to get at me is pathetic.

Anyone interested in how I treated Mr. Baccellieri, wondering if I turned him in, curious about just how ridiculously angry he is, may go to: and

There you may read our entire email exchanges. Please decide for yourselves if I treated Mr. Baccellieri badly.

Kay Chamberlain deserves an apology for my using her name when quoting her reporting in The Eagle. I’m sorry that I didn’t just omit her by-line. And it is important to note that during her conversation with Lisa Mooers at the Skamokawa Post Office, it appears that Lisa said, “it wound up not being a good fit for Brian McClain.” That is what I assumed. I’m sorry if I got it wrong.

Why did I bring what Kay wrote back in 2015 to voters’ attention? I am out knocking on doors and providing voters with my resume. The voters of Wahkiakum County are making a hiring decision about who should serve as assessor for the next four years. Most people would agree that a job candidate’s tenure and performance in a job serving the public at the Skamokawa Post Office would be relevant to their hiring decision.

Finally, I must thank Howard Brawn for making my argument even though he didn’t intend to do so. It is important to have an assessor who is accredited. Mr. Funderburg worked as appraiser under Assessor Kay Cochran for years without running amok. Kay Cochran was accredited. Then Kay left and there was no assessor with accreditation. In the final four years of Mr. Funderburg’s employment the value of the county rose 34 percent. Ouch! Let’s not repeat that scenario.

Others have written about my opponent’s integrity, both favorably and unfavorably. My record speaks to my integrity. I promised to lower values and I have. The value of the county is effectively $40M lower than when I started in 2011. I promised to eliminate the backlog in the assessor’s office of segregations, consolidations, current-use applications and so on. And, working with my team, I did.

If some voters want to punish me for my wife’s mökki or choose to believe that the only important qualification for being Wahkiakum County Assessor is to not be Bill Coons, then your choice is clear. Most voters want the assessor’s job done well and done right. My record proves that I am the best fit for the job.

Bill Coons

Wahkiakum County Assessor


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