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

Knowledge is power


October 11, 2018

To The Eagle:

It’s not surprising that Bill Coons is conducting a negative campaign when it was he who insisted it should be clean. It’s not out of character for him to take another person’s comments out of context to design an attack ad. And it’s to be expected that he would make a campaign promise to hold an appeals workshop but renege on it in the end. Mr. Coons plays politician as he has conducted himself as assessor.

However, what does surprise and bother me is the number of people, including Bill Coons himself, who point proudly to his job experience and his appraisal credential as if these alone would guarantee his election as assessor again. They would lead us to believe – through false assumptions – that Bill’s methods are much more accurate than in fact they prove to be. Have they ever filed an appeal or questioned him about their assessed values? I have had that experience four times over the years, and I have found him wanting in accuracy, fairness, and honesty. It has made me question what is going on in the assessor’s office, and whether it is serving all of us equally.

Knowledge is power, and Bill Coons would like you to believe that he deserves to keep his power because only he has the knowledge to assess property, not you and not his opponent. That is why he won’t risk holding a workshop: He doesn’t want to expose the Pandora’s Box that is the assessor’s office, and doesn’t want to face questions about the basis for his valuations. Mr. Coons is more comfortable making a deal with you in the backroom after having aimed too high at your property value. Some of Mr. Coons’s practices are surely “not government at its best,” as the Board of Equalization once wrote in an appeals decision in our favor several years ago. In the end, it is not really up to them to reprimand Mr. Coons for the way he conducts himself as assessor. That is our task as voters in the next election, to replace him with someone who, from his responses in The Eagle, seems more capable of working with the citizens of Wahkiakum County in a respectful, fair, and honest way.

Karen Cressa



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