Monday, July 23, 2012

Lavaca County Appraisal District scandal

Last week or so, I ran into a letter to the editor from the Hallettsville tribute herald. It showsvaclack of professionalism and respect for the African American community of Lavaca County. When you discover something very unethical and equally unpopular to bring forward to the public, what do you do? After careful though, including being advised not for fear of retaliation, I decided this could not go without being addressed; so, I wrote the following letter to the taxing entities of Lavaca County. I hope this letter speaks for itself: During a routine open records request to the Lavaca County Central Appraisal District (LCCAD), I was appalled to hear racial slurs during the June 13, regular board meeting made by employees and members of the board. These offenses happened during a discussions about a piece of property situated near Hallettsville Junior High School that was identified as possibly for sale for the district to consider for purchase for it's new office facility. The board chair, Louis Schott, had the floor. When the location of this property was clarified, it prompted the following reactions: "Across the tracks" "Where the Blacks live." "In a bad neighborhood" "Why don't we just put it on Park Row..." "where they got shot" Without reprimand, reactions, or any acknowledgement of unacceptable behavior, Mr. Schott continued discussing the property saying although he appreciated the tip, the board has come to the conclusion it needs property to be in a "marketable" place in the event of resale in the future. I have always spoken with pride regarding our communities' acceptance of each other. Hearing these comments on record just pierced my skin. These are intolrent behaviors showing a callous disregard for individuals in our communities. As a whole, we are a better community than what this board is portraying. As the taxing entities that seated this board and on behalf of the citizens paying these taxes, I'm confident you agree this discovery cannot go without being property addressed. I suggest resolving this by taking the following action: 1. To the taxing entity who appointed board chair, Louis Schott, demand his immediate resignation and replace him with an ethical representative. As a leader of this organization, he did not stop or rectify the inflammatory statements either during or after the meeting. However, I'm certain none of the appraised values of the properties in the area of the Hallettsville Junior High School reflect that they are "unmarketable". 2. To the taxing entity who appointed member, Frances Pohl, who made the statement "across the tracks,"demand her immediate resignation and replace her with an ethical representative. 3. All the taxing entities should take immediate action to determine who made the other two racial slurs and take immediate action to remove them from the district. As distressing as this finding is, there is simply no room for this casual disregard of our neighbors. The good people of our community need your immediate engagement to rectify this disappointing state of affairs. We look forward to an immediate remedy. Thank you. Marie Day.