To the Editor:
Donna Tessendorf submitted a thoughtful but incomplete letter (July 24) about the Rutland Township salaries. As a member of the “political action committee,” I would like to add some clarification.
Our efforts have been directed at improving the assessor’s office budget. Ms. Tessendorf knows that when we began our campaign last year, Assessor Janet Siers opposed our efforts, insisting her budget was adequate. Anyhow, this should put to rest any implication of collusion. The fact that Ms. Siers’ job situation changed was unknown to us until July.
We presented numerous examples to the Rutland Board of residents being ill-served by the assessor’s office. Every example could be attributed to inadequate resources of that office. These include lack of availability to meet residents with complaints or questions, and it taking four months for the assessor to correct an error. Such situations are consequences of it being a part-time job with inadequate resources.
Before the building boom in Rutland, the office resources may well have been adequate. Now, they are not.
It is not our main goal to increase the assessor’s salary, albeit this should be a consequence of it becoming a full-time job. However, adding benefits and increasing salaries of the support staff will attract more qualified assistants.
Space limitations prevent presenting all the points supporting these positions. I will just mention one additional: Rutland has about half the parcels of adjacent Grafton, but Rutland’s assessor’s office has a budget only one-fourth that of Grafton.