Opinion

Appraisal no guarantee of 'reasonableness' | Letters

Editor,

Whidbey News-Times is to be commended for its article and editorial revealing the way Whidbey General Hospital officials and board members apparently conspired to pilfer the public coffers to purchase property at a wildly inflated price tag.

The editorial points to the fact that the purchase was done quietly, secretly and without the benefit of a property appraisal. It also should be noted that the $2 million purchase price went to a family name with long standing involvement in Island County government.

It should be noted that property appraisals aren’t much of a guarantee of either accuracy or reasonableness. Our experience has been that the first thing an appraiser does is ask is for the purpose of the appraisal.

Why is that information important to the value or worth of property unless the appraiser is feeling the necessity of pleasing the customer more than being accurate and objective?

It’s not unusual to hear that one can get the best appraisal that money can buy—according to how much one wants to spend.

For instance, take the Boyer property deal of a few years back, when that parcel was purchased by a consortium of government agencies, including Island County, Washington state and the Navy. Supposedly, it was to alleviate the risk of damages from a crash from planes departing or approaching the Naval Air Station, as though those 20 acres were the only inhabitable land at risk.

That depletion of taxpayers’ money went to a local Oak Harbor business family with long standing connections — and, according to Whidbey News-Times articles, at some five times the historic assessed value.

But, of course, a “property appraisal” justified it.

Let’s hope that the newspaper’s staff keep their noses busy because there still is a foul smell in the air. The public treasury is often the least guarded of all. A gullible public is pilfered by their own government.

Al and Barbara Williams

Oak Harbor

 

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