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MAY 15, 2018

To the Editor:

Total Overhaul, Anyone?

There has been a lot of talk lately about the upcoming primary and who might end up Lawrence County's Judge/Executive. With 8 candidates running in the primary, it kind of feels like wagering on the Kentucky Derby. However, I can't help but wonder if we aren't due for a complete overhaul of the powers-that-be.

Consider for a moment this county's Property Valuation Administrator (PVA), Chris Rose. Now, don't get me wrong. I like Chris. He's a good guy. Nonetheless, do we really need to keep electing people just because we know them? That, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call 'identity politics' and, quite frankly, this useless way of doing things is how we ended up in the current economic slump we're in. It's that 'good ole boy' system at its best!

Also consider this: the PVA is responsible for valuation of properties in the county, which is the basis for our property tax bills. The records of who owns what are recorded and maintained by the county clerk's office, currently occupied by Chris Jobe. I don't personally know Mr. Jobe but, again, I hear he's a great guy. What I wonder, however, is if either is qualified for the jobs they are paid to do, if they're burnt out from doing said jobs too long, and if it's time for us all to move on in this November's election. As of this writing, both Rose and Jobe stand unchallenged, but it's not too late for some new blood to step up to the plate as write-in candidates. Now, before I get ahead of myself, allow me to expound on this thought of mine.

Today, I received in the mail my 2018 Property Tax Assessment Notice for my mobile home. The PVA says my property is worth $8,000. As I was reading this notice, I made this face. It was a very 'Al Bundy' face, for those of you who are old enough to know it- you know, that face where your eyes squint and your forehead wrinkles. As I'm sitting there reading this notice and channeling my best Al Bundy, all I could think was...”huh?”. See, I wasn't confused because of the 8-grand number. I don't know if it's accurate or not because I'm not a real estate connoisseur. The problem was... I don't own a mobile home!

So, about a year and a half ago, my would-be wife and I moved into this place owned by her grandmother. The trailer is situated on land owned by her mother. We couldn't get a phone line hooked up without an E-911 address, so we spent 2 weeks calling and leaving messages before finally getting in touch with the director and getting an address issued (off subject, but how is it acceptable that it even took 2 weeks?). He asked the names of all the adults in the home, so I explained that it was just Vanessa and I and we were renting.

Then, POOF!, like magic, we're homeowners! To add salt to this big, gaping wound, the notice was sent to Denton, Ky, which is in Carter County! I would really like to know, as a taxpayer and (apparently) homeowner, who is responsible for this level of incompetence. I mean, the PVA salary, based on county population, is between $77,401 and $83,355. For this kind of money, I really need to know if this is his screw-up or if Chris Jobe owns this one.

There's this little concept called 'due diligence', an ethical concept, that requires professionals to take reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure they haven't acted unprofessionally. Where is the due diligence here with this property valuation? Neither my mother-in-law, grandmother-in-law, wife, nor myself have been contacted to ask even a single question, such as the one burning a hole in my brain right this second: who owns this mobile home? I mean, for the kind of money they're paid, is it really too much to ask that someone make a phone call or send a letter to even pretend an attempt at ascertaining the truth?

So, if we're in a place where this kind of ridiculousness can happen, is it not time to reconsider how we elect our officials here in Lawrence County? The Lazer has all but begged for statements from the candidates for Judge/Executive, receiving responses from only 3 of the 8. And I understand that they are under no obligation to speak to the press, but their choice not to makes me wonder why they won't. How can I trust that someone will run a transparent administration if they're not even transparent in campaigning? How have any of the candidates (for any of the offices) told us how they're going to bring change for all of us? And I don't mean stating in a more complex way that this or that needs changed, but actually laying out a solid plan and presenting it to the citizens. Enough is enough with the identity politics! Most of us are suffering and many are leaving for better opportunities elsewhere. So, I pose this question: Come November, how will YOU vote?

 

Cole Holder

Denton, Ky. (near the Lawrence, Boyd, Carter county lines.)

 

Comments  

0 #9 Hmmm 2018-05-18 10:47
It's not May 21 yet....go handle it! And vote for whoever you want....
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-1 #8 Duh... 2018-05-17 19:42
Uh, it says him and his wife were renters. And I know the family. They pay rent, not live off somebody.
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+2 #7 Lawrence County 2018-05-17 01:24
Good job Chris. You are an excellent representative for Lawrence County.
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+7 #6 Hmmm 2018-05-16 14:23
The way I see it is if your not happy and want change we have things called an election. Put your name on the ballot and get out there and work for it. Not live off somebody else. Even in this election I have had two candidates at my door and I live in town. People want to be asked to vote and their hand shook. Handing me a pen doesn't get my vote. Work for it.
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-6 #5 Well 2018-05-15 23:08
I like Jobe and Rose. I would love to defend the two in this story but I cant. This guy has made a very good point. Lets call it what it is.
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+11 #4 Voter 2018-05-15 21:30
Why would they want to talk to you. Anyone can make a mistake. Take it to the PVA office and get it corrected. Do not down the PVA and the County Clerk. They are wonderful men. And do a wonderful job.
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+6 #3 Hmm 2018-05-15 14:01
He got his property tax assessment this early? It should have been sent to the property owner not the renter. I never get mine until fall. Also, there’s an assessment board you can go before to complain if there’s a problem.
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-2 #2 Gee 2018-05-15 13:45
Good old Lawrence County. LOL
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+9 #1 TheWholeStory 2018-05-15 13:16
Is this the same Cole Holder who was denied a job picking up garbage by the fiscal court? And many addresses will have the “city” name from a neighboring county. There is a section of Martin County that has an address as Louisa but it is actually in Martin County. And if you don’t own it, then all you have to do is call them and say that you don’t own it rather than trying to make two good men look bad in the paper. I mean it seems you don’t own anything of your own... you are in your girlfriend's trailer on HER family’s property... maybe they think a man your age shouldn’t be living off of women...
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