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Your views: Tax board should work for residents, not officials
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We were very much disappointed to read in The Times the situation with the tax board chairman.

The Board of Tax Assessors is to guard the interests of the taxpayers instead of devising ways to gain personal benefit by evading proper policy and procedure. However, this seems to be just what has happened.

Rather than protecting the interests of hard-working Hall County taxpayers, it appears that the chairman has violated the rules and regulations that govern his office in order to benefit himself and some around him. It is for these violations and the nature of his office that we feel he should be held accountable for disregarding his duty to operate his office under the prescribed guidelines.

The chairman has violated the trust of Hall County taxpayers by deliberately ignoring their best interest while not fulfilling his duty to safeguard the economic well being of Hall County residents.

Don and Jean Stroud



Time for change in Hall tax assessors office

I have read with great concern the accusations being made against the Hall County Tax Assessor chairman. As a citizen and taxpayer of this country, I think that it is truly "Time For a Change" in accountability in the tax assessors office.

In years that we’ve all had to tighten our belts and cut the waste, Emory Martin appears to have had free reign in this office being compensated, if not illegally, then certainly unethically. He is an appointed official. Does this give him a free ride with no overseeing authority?

How could this one county department be allowed to go over a budget and no one throw up a red flag? Where was Hall County’s finance department in this alleged overpayment?

It is reported that Martin was first appointed in the 1980s. He cannot use ignorance as a defense. Twenty-plus years should have given him an opportunity to learn the rules. He was quoted as saying "there was no intent to do anything wrong." What was his intent in padding his time sheets?

Where were the Hall County commissioners and our county manager? Is this a case of "I’ll scratch your back and you scratch mine?"

It is appalling that corruption of this type still exists in Hall County government. Mr. Cantrell said he complained to Martin but was rebuffed. Martin was put on notice that day that there was suspicion of fraud, and I believe he should have taken immediate steps to put himself and the office he represented above reproach.

Appointed or elected, employee or contractor, if you do business with Hall County, be warned that somebody is taking notes! It is time for a change.

Eric Grainger