Mr. Brown,

I watched your video of Aug. 27, and was especially interested in your characterization of our telephone conversation. I need to address the “lie” that you claim I am perpetuating.

I clearly understand the separation of power among elected officials. I understand the fact that the commissioners do not have the authority to hold the assessor accountable.

In our phone conversation I explained to you that the people are upset with you because you (the Commissioners) refuse to publicly acknowledge the abysmal failures of the assessor with respect to this assessment.

I explained to you that while you cannot fire her or demand her resignation, you could take the side of the people and acknowledge that her incompetence resulted in a huge mess that prevented thousands of people from their right to due process.

You can do that, yet you (the Commissioners) chose to circle the wagons around her and even defend her actions, her poor decisions and the misleading statements she made blaming the State Tax Commission. Incidentally, the State Tax Commission confirmed that her statements blaming them were false.

During our conversation, you were on speakerphone and I was not alone in the room. You and I both know what the conversation really was. You are correct, I am “doubling down “in the sense that I firmly believe that you refuse to recognize the Bannock County Assessor’s incompetence.

I am ‘doubling down” in holding you, the Commissioners, accountable for the eleventh-hour change of the appeal filing deadline that resulted in thousands of property owners being denied the opportunity to appeal.

I am “doubling down” on holding you, the Commissioners, responsible for the fact that the majority of those that appealed were not heard and are left to seek recourse with the state because the BOE (the Commissioners) couldn’t get to all the appeals.

In attempting to appease people you came up with a random plan of returning a percentage of those appeals to the 2018 status, while others received a 10% reduction, etc.

I am “doubling down” on holding you accountable for that mishandling resulting from your decision to not acknowledge the gross incompetence of the assessor. The only person misleading the public, is you.

Claudia Ortega,