The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Paul Dunn
Centerville 

Assessor should be more careful

Letter to the Editor

 


To the Editor:

The recent release of Washington State’s Department of Revenue’s (DOR) 2011 audit of the County Assessor’s office accurately represents Darlene Johnson’s poor performance as County Assessor. Johnson marketed herself as having the education and the business experience to assume the responsibilities and duties of County Assessor when in actuality the report represents the contrary.

Darlene’s agenda for “changes” in the office were not thought through well and lacked analysis of what the consequences would be for the office, county government, taxing districts and ultimately the property owners in our county. The report is one of the worst that any county department has received in many years and could have been easily avoided had she demonstrated better leadership skills in retaining the five employees who were formerly in the office. An experienced leader would have learned what the duties and responsibilities of the office were first and help existing employees be successful and stronger. This simple managerial concept would have curtailed many of the serious issues identified and alleviated the need for an “invitation” for DOR representatives to come and do an audit. Instead, Darlene brought what she touted as her “real world business practices” to the assessor’s office filled with promises but lacking substance.

Frankly, if this was a mainstream business, I doubt that Darlene would continue to be employed for another two and a half years. Maybe she will be more careful with her words when publicly criticizing the performance of the previous assessor and former employees and focus more on her performance going forward.

 
 

Reader Comments
(2)

Treasurer writes:

I would like to set the record straight regarding some of the comments by “Rustler” in response to Paul Dunn’s Letter to the Editor. Some of the comments by “Rustler” are incorrect. There is not sufficient room on this website for my response, but there will be a letter to the Editor this week that will detail the facts regarding collection of excise taxes. Dani Burton Klickitat County Treasurer

rustler writes:

It's strange to see the deputy treasurer attacking the assessor, doesn't he have something constructive to do with his time? Sounds off the wall that she is being blamed for getting rid of some of the old employees. I had to deal with them in 2007,it was a welcomed move. How come he didn't bring up the fact that the treasure's office failed to collect $5.8 mil in excise tax when Cannon Power sold Windy Point for $385 mil? Sounds like MS. Johnson is digging deep into their secrets. Keep it up!

 
 
 

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