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Fitzgerald needs to step up

| Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, 8:59 p.m.

I am really disgusted with Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and his assessors.

When I discovered my assessment went up 65 percent, I appealed. I asked the appeal processor why I didn't see any assessors in my area and he said they drove past in a car. Another appeal person said they assessed his property from a helicopter. I could tell that these processors weren't listening to me about all of the property values in Cheswick being the same.

In Acmetonia in Harmar — one mile away — most properties were assessed at $16,500 with 10,000 square feet and a 75-foot front. My property is 6,800 square feet with a 50-foot front and the lot's assessment is $35,000.

I paid $200 for a local Realtor to assess my house and lot and he placed the value at $94,000. The county assessors placed it at $118,000, an increase of $40,000 over 2003.

At the appeal, my Realtor's assessment was ignored. My value was reduced by $10,000, but that is still $14,000 more than the Realtor's assessment.

I am a staunch Democrat, but I will never vote for Rich Fitzgerald again. He needs to hire some good lawyers to fight this assessment case instead of just talking about it.

Is he going to let Judge Stanton Wettick, who has taken over the assessment process, run this county? Or is he going to step up and do his job?

Fitzgerald is the chief executive; he needs to act like one.

James S. Spinelli Sr.

Cheswick

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