Letters to the Editor
Editor’s Note: For the first time , we are including letters addressed to the editor of the Modoc County Daily News Blog, a practice usually devoted to page A2 of our print edition.
Auditor’s Disrespect for Shorty
Although relatively new to Modoc County, my family and I are proud residents committed to the fine community, its traditions and history. We also share the concern of many Modoc residents for the financial dilemma of this county and support Shorty Crabtree’s request for disclosure of the audit.
An audit is performed by an independent CPA firm to establish the validity and reliability of the county’s fiscal information and its internal controls.
The published audit is an independent opinion on whether the financial statements are accurate, complete and fairly represented. The audit reports our past, present and future fiscal position and administrative practices.
It is the checkpoint in the “checks and balances” of our elected officials and county administration. In addition, without a completed audit, administration cannot provide our county leadership with the accurate information (budgets, cash flow analysis, etc.) necessary as a basis for intelligent evaluation, planning and control.
County taxpayers have paid for and are entitled to review the audit results. We were told the audit would be completed by January/February 2010, yet nine months later, we are still waiting.
Shorty was acting responsibly by asking for the audit status. Auditor Darcy Locken’s response “because it’s not done,” lacked professionalism and the respect due Shorty’s position and this county’s residents.
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Editor’s Note: The following letter was addressed to each member of the Modoc County Board of supervisors, Cheryl Knoch, Modoc County treasurer, KRCR-TV in Redding and the Modoc County Daily News Blog.
I am writing this letter in the hopes that one of its recipients will provide a solution to the inconceivable situation in which I find myself.
During the 70s, my husband and I purchased a parcel of land in the California Pines area of Modoc County. We paid $5,000 for it, hoping it was an investment for the future. Today, it is worth approximately what we paid for it. It has, of course, been very disappointing.
I am now in my 70s, living on a fixed income. I pay rent where I live. I have continued to pay the property taxes on the Modoc property, with the intention that the property would be some small thing I could pass on to my grandchildren.
Two weeks ago, I received the latest property tax bill. I could not believe my eyes when I saw that it has tripled due to the Last Frontier Hospital debacle. I am, apparently, suddenly liable for a hospital that has mismanaged itself into horrendous debt. How can this be? I have never heard of this hospital. I have never been in this hospital and, no doubt, will never be in this hospital.
I am told the increase in the property tax bill will go on for a number of years. This means I could be forced to pay property taxes in excess of the value of the land. How can this be?
I cannot possibly pay this bill. In a conversation with the Modoc County Tax Collector’s office, I was told that this could lead to their seizing the property and selling it. This is being forced on me, without my having done anything to lead to this hospital’s debt! What will this do to my credit standing? How can this be?
I am told there was a vote. Why was I not included in this vote? Why was I not even notified of this vote? If I was not involved in this vote or the debt of this hospital, why do I have to pay for anything?
Please respond to my letter. I have had a most difficult time getting any help from the hospital. Apparently, there are many people in the same situation I am in and everyone is trying to reach this hospital. There is, more often, a continuous busy signal and, once in a while, voicemail.
When I finally had a live person to talk to, I was told I’d be getting some kind of hardship form in the mail. Is determining whether I meet hardship requirements the solution to all of this. How can this be?
Please help me out of this cruel, unfair situation.
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Another On Hospital Tax
I'm one of the Cal Pines property owners that just received his Modoc County property tax bill. I immediately called the Modoc County Tax Collector's office to complain about my horrendous 269 percent tax increase.
The office representative referred me to call and talk to Judy Mason at the Last Frontier Healthcare District in regards to my issues. Ms. Mason was not sorry at all that I have to take food off my kids dinner table to support her rural life style.
Besides Ms. Mason, who else were the crafty politicians in your city/county that put this one over on the tax payers? As a property owner in your area, it's one thing to ask me for help when needed, but it's another to out right steal from me using current laws to hide behind.
This Last Frontier Healthcare group knew exactly who and where to target for there financial gains. They well new that the 15,000 non-electors (absentee landowners) they went after in the Cal-Pines area would not be able vote on the new tax issue, would have to pay, and have nothing to say about it.
I wonder how the Modoc County creators of this new Last Frontier Healthcare District and there "Grass Root Friends," as Ms. Mason put it, are able to sleep at night. What would they have done if the California Pines property development had never been subdivided into 15,000 vacant lots?
Also, why was it that other Modoc local communities like Adin, Lookout, and Davis Creek were not included in this vote? From what I see, it was due to prior polls taken by the hospital group that indicated that those area residents and property owners would vote against the additional property tax.
Even though these areas use these services, there inclusion to vote on the new bill would have been too risky. You don't have to be a mental giant to figure out that the individual Cal-Pines property owners are ripe for the picking. However, I don't think those thousands of absentee landowners are going to go away quietly.
Just for reference, I was born and raised here in this great State of California and after being here for 65 years the increasingly corrupt politics never cease to amaze me. I wonder what Modoc will vote in next year, as with their lack of consciousness, the sky's the limit and the non-resident property owners will pick up the tab.
"Bail Outs" is now the new word when you lack the knowledge and expertise to operate a viable and profitable business.