Federal exchange will work fine soon enough

Olympia Reader recipes destined for Thursday’s table Olympia Letter did nothing but fan the flames Thurston County AssessorNovember 28, 2013 

Although there have been a few technical problems, our state’s Healthplanfinder is one of the best exchanges in the nation in terms of overall functionality. And we rank near the top in number of enrollees. The team that developed our Healthplanfinder deserves a big round of applause.

Federal exchanges have gotten off to a more bumpy start. They have a lot more moving parts to deal with than state exchanges. We have to remember, literally every version of Microsoft Windows that has been introduced has had start-up problems. The popular Windows 95 required dozens of “fixes” to get the bugs out. Computer specialists are making good progress getting federal exchange problems resolved. Political extremists will soon have to find a new doomsday “outrage du jour” to become hysterical about. They certainly don’t spend any of their time seeking constructive solutions to any of the problems we face. Thank you for the great Thanksgiving recipes. I was looking for some new ideas and the readers came through with some great ones. I will be having Larry’s corn pudding and Brussel sprouts with pancetta. Yum, I can hardly wait. In his recent letter, land-use activist Glen Morgan made several false and inflammatory statements about my office. I am writing this letter to set the record straight.

In accordance with state law, my office inspects all properties at least once every six years to assure all taxable property is assessed fairly and equitably. This year our office is conducting inspections in the region, which encompasses the greater Yelm area.

In a planning meeting earlier this year, several challenges effecting productivity were identified including staff drive time, the concentrated existence of underground structures, numerous restricted-access properties and greater-than-average resistance and concern about the physical inspection process. It is by coincidence that this area is also home to the Ramtha School of Enlightenment and many of its students.

In any event, I held a Yelm town hall meeting in July to dialogue with the community about our process, listen to citizen concerns and to respectfully explain why structures must be measured and evaluated for quality and condition. I explained why underground structures pose both a challenge for my staff and raise concerns with the owners, since, unlike above ground structures, they can best be evaluated and measured through internal inspection. This meeting was well-attended and ran long in order for everyone’s concerns to be heard.

It is just false to suggest that our neighbors with underground structures are being targeted by my office or harassed by my staff. In fact, we took steps to raise awareness and in the interest of lowering anxiety about our required inspection process. My field staff are exceptional public servants who interact respectfully with every resident while enduring bad weather, barking dogs and even property owners who on occasion greet them with firearms.

Moran’s inflammatory statements serve absolutely no public service and likely have increased the level of risk my employees endure every day.

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