BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
Refused to forward to me the full names of all Spokane County Board of
Equalization members, their backgrounds and qualifications, including copies of
their applications to the Spokane County Commissioners.† Board of equalization members are political
appointees, not civil service employees, and are not exempt from the Washington
State Public Records Disclosure Act.†
Not to furnish this information is a violation
of the Washington State Public Records Disclosure Act, other
The Spokane County Commissioners violated the Washington State Public Records Disclosure Act by not making available copies of applications for board appointments.† Apparently, Spokane County Board of Equalization members do not need to have any qualifications.
The stated purpose of the Public Records Act is nothing less than the preservation of the most central tenets of representative government, namely, the sovereignty of the people and the accountability to the people of public officials and institutions.† Without tools such as the Public Records Act, government of the people, by the people, for the people, risks becoming government of the people, by the bureaucrats, for the special interests.† RCW 42.17.251
The Legislature takes the trouble to repeat three times that exemptions under the Public Records Act should be construed narrowly.† RCW 42.17.010 (11), RCW 41.17.251, RCW 42.17.920† The Legislature leaves no room for doubt about its intent.
The people of this state do not yield their sovereignty to the agencies that serve them.† The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know.† The people insist on remaining informed so that they may maintain control over the instruments that they have created.† The public records subdivision of this chapter shall be liberally construed and its exemptions narrowly construed to promote this public policy.† RCW 42.17.251
Attorney Fees and Penalties
The Public Records Act provides, in part:
Any person who prevails against an agency in any action in the courts seeking the right to inspect or copy any public record...shall be awarded all costs, including reasonable attorney fees, incurred in connection with such legal action.
As to penalties, the statute specifies that ďit shall be within the discretion of the courtĒ to award to a requester who prevails against an agency not less than $5.00 and not more than $100.00 for each day the requester was denied the right to inspect or copy the public record.† RCW 42.17.340 (4)† We note that, as we have previously observed, ďĎstrict enforcementí of fees and fines will discourage improper denial of access to public records.Ē† 114 Wn.2d 686 (quoting Hearst, 90 Wn.2d 140.
The Spokane County Board of Equalization violates the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act.† After hearing the appellant, they go into closed session to discuss and then vote on the assessed property valuation.
Hearings Ė Open sessions Ė Exceptions† WAC 458-14-105
(1) All board hearings shall be open to the public unless a party requests that part or all of a hearing be conducted in closed session in accordance with subsection (2) of this section.
(2) If one of the parties intends to introduce evidence obtained under RCW 84.40.340 or confidential income data exempted from public inspection pursuant to RCW 42.17.310 and requests that the hearing be closed to the public, the board shall conduct the hearing in closed session, to the extent necessary to protect and preserve confidentiality.
SHOWS IGNORANCE AND INCOMPETENCE
I was asked to present my case, but was continually interrupted by the board members and not allowed to call the appraiser as a witness regarding appraisal documents with no dates.
Residential property is usually appraised using the market approach to value.† Under the market approach, value is determined from sales of similar property.† Thus, when boards hear valuation appeals, they must look at actual sales of similar property.† RCW 84.40.030
At my hearing, the appraiser introduced eighteen properties with recent sales prices that were supposedly compared to my property.† When I introduced evidence that three of those properties had more recently sold for considerably less, the board chair stated, ďThat has nothing to do with the value of your property, absolutely nothing.Ē
WITHOUT PERMISSION OF
AND IN VIOLATION OF
VOTES IN CLOSED SESSION TO HAVE CLERKS FILE RESTRAINING ORDER.
The suit was frivolous, without merit, a nest of perjury that would have had no chance of being successful before a jury.† It was, for all practical purposes, an indictment against my web site WWW.CitizenGadfly.Com which is protected under the first amendment to the United States Constitution Ė the freedom of speech and press.† A citizen has a legitimate right and a responsibility to challenge the way government is being operated.† When an individual makes a written demand and references a government regulation or code, this is a legal warning that some legal course of action may be taken should the demand not be fulfilled.
DEMANDING YOUR RIGHTS IS HARASSMENT?
If this had
been a criminal case, it would have taken the jury longer to pick a foreperson
than to reach a verdict of not guilty.†
However, the biased,
incompetent, court commissioner Steven N. Grovdahl,
not elected by the citizens, did not pursue the rule
of law, but pursued a simple judgment of power in the exercise of authority. †When
courts give their stamp of approval on government by patronage, there is no
bill of rights; and the courts lose any dignity they may have once
Ronald Paul Arkills was employed by
This was a violation of RCW 36.27.060 and a further continuation of violations of my civil rights.
Nothing in the petition notified me that this action was being brought
Steven J. Tucker, Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney, was equally culpable, as he failed to control the actions of his associate.
These actions are enough to warrant an investigation, hearing and trial that should result in disbarment of Spokane County Prosecuting Attorney Steven J. Tucker, Spokane County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Ronald Paul Arkills and Spokane County Court Commissioner Steven N. Grovdahl.
2004 May 10
Terry Kjolseth, chairperson
Robert A. Kroboth, petitioner
Kroboth:† I'd like to ask you a couple of questions first.† You say, you take these under advisement, when do you meet, later on?
Kjolseth:† We have a closed session immediately after the hearing where the board discusses the case, then we vote on it by a motion and by vote.
Kroboth:† Is that open to the public?
Kroboth:† Alright, are you paid?
Kroboth:† How much?
Kjolseth:† I don't think that is any of your business, sir.
Kroboth:† Are you civil service employees?
Kroboth:† Thank you.
Kjolseth:† By the way, the pay is very small.
Kroboth:† That part doesn't matter, you are not a civil service employee.
Kroboth:† I demanded your full names and I didn't get that from anybody on the list.
Kjolseth:† Well, you can write it down, theyíre right here in front of you.
Kroboth:† Well, I need this information in advance, just like you need your information 10 days in advance.† Also, when you applied for these jobs, you filled out an application form for theÖINTERRUPTED
Kjolseth:† Weíre appointed by the county commissioners.
Kroboth:† I know, and you filled out an application form.† I demanded copies of that and I havenít gotten them.
Kjolseth:† You're not going to getíem either, because we don't have to giveíem to you.
Kroboth:† Well, thatís another court issue.
Kjolseth:† Do you want us to hear your case, sir?† We're here to hear your case.
Kroboth:† I'm going to go into that right now.
Kroboth:† This appears to be a worksheet.
Kjolseth:† You need to address the board, sir.
Kroboth:† Well, it doesnít have a date on it.
Kjolseth:† That was, I think, a worksheet for you to fill out.
Kroboth:† No, this is a worksheet that's filled out here at the county, Iíve got here another one thatís typewritten.† That is not of my filling outÖINTERRUPTED
Kjolseth:† Iíll tell you what, lets not (not intelligible) about dates and this and that, we're trying to get to a fair market value for your property.
Kroboth:† What Iím trying to show is that itís just a drive-by shooting, and that these pages that he sent me since, pictures of comparable homes, was done later.
Kjolseth:† We'll ask the assessorís officer to address that, then.
Kroboth:† I just want it on the record.
Kroboth:† OK, this is a home that my mother bought in 1942, during World War II.† There was an attic up there.† She built a small apartment up there, basically a one room apartment with a division.† There was a housing shortage then, she rented out the room for $55.00 a month.† That would be like $400.00 a month now.† Nobody would pay $400.00 a month now.† The most they would pay would be $200.00 a month, and that's what it costs to heat the place during the winter time with base board heat; and anybody that would only pay $200.00 a month, you don't want to bother with them anyway, because they aren't going to be paying their rent.† The point I want to put out is, when your patriotic, itís like being taxed for the next 100 years or longer because you had a victory garden during world war II.† As far as Jerry Boorman goes, he sent me, I think it was, 18 of these pictures of comparable homes and prices.† I have shown you on 3 of them that theyíve been sold since then for less than that amount.† I don't need to go into detail.† Hereís one [Exhibit K-8B] $23,682.00; [Exhibit K-9B] $9,300.00ÖINTERRUPTED
Kjolseth:† One sold for $9,300.00?
Kroboth:† Less!† Have you read this?† I gave you copies of this.
Kjolseth:† I havenít read all the way through.
Kroboth:† Well, then you should know that.† I didn't figure I would have had to point out each one individually. †[Exhibit K-8B] 1129 W Grace sold for $23,682.00 lessÖINTERRUPTED
Kjolseth:† What date?
Kroboth:† June 21, 2002.
Kjolseth:† It sold for $23,000.00?
Kroboth:† $23,682.00 less than the assessed valuation.
Kjolseth:† That has nothing to do with the value of your property, absolutely nothing.
Kroboth:† Keep talking.
Kjolseth:† Remember, when I read the opening statement, the rules under which we must abide, the state laws.
Kroboth:† Thatís fine.† Lets just get it over with, just get it on the recordÖINTERRUPTED
Male Board Member:† Letís get this on the record.† That house sold for $75,663.00!
Kroboth:† On what date?† On what date?
Male Board Member:† On what date?† It was November 29, 2001.
Kroboth:† OK, this is a later date, June 21, 2002ÖINTERRUPTED
Kjolseth:† Youíre talking $23,000.00 less that the assessed value.
Kroboth:† Thatís what it sold for.† It sold for $39,618.00.† Thatís $23,682.00 less that the assessed valuation.
Kjolseth:† What was the sale price?
Kroboth:† $39,618.00.† You should have this right in front of you.
Kjolseth:† I probably do, I didn't memorize it.
Kroboth:† Well, I thought youíd be looking at it right now.
Male Board Member:† Whatís the condition of the house?
Kroboth:† I don't know, mineís just a drive-by shooting like Jerry Boormanís.
Male Board Member:† No.† Your house.
Kroboth:† Well, itís a 100 years old.† Itís like any house a 100 years old.† Itís been depreciating for 50 years.† Itís been decreasing in valuation.† It leans to one side.† Itís not worth spending any money on it.
Male Board Member:† Iíve driven by your home.
Male Board Member:† Iíve driven by your home and I am an appraiser.† I want you to know that I have been an appraiser for 14 years.† Thatís on the record.
Kroboth:† I donít have anything, papers that any of you have been appraisers.
LAUGHTER BY THE BOARD
Male Board Member:† We donít need to prove that to you, sir.
Kroboth:† You donít need to prove that to me, OK.† Well, lets go on to the next one.† Iíd like to get this over withÖINTERRUPTED
Male Board Member:† I have some questions.† Weíve all read this over.
Kroboth:† Well apparently you havenít.† I am sure answering a lot of questions.† I think that we can skip through this pretty fast.† The house at [Exhibit K-9B] 1114 [W Jackson Av] sold for $9,300.00 less than assessed valuation. †[Exhibit K-10B] 1225 W Jackson Av sold for $20,350.00 less that the assessed valuationÖINTERRUPTED
Kjolseth:† That is immaterial, as I mentioned.
Kroboth:† OK, letís get it over
with.† Hereís property at [Exhibit
K-11] 1030 W Grace, it just sold for $12,900.00 less than assessed
valuation, and this was sold on
December 19 February 19, 2004.† This shows 4
properties in the neighborhood, 3 of them that Jerry Boorman
has compared that are actually going down in assessed valuation; and he says he
compares my house with these other 18 and this is 3 of them; and then there are
some commercial properties hereÖINTERRUPTED
Kjolseth:† Those arenít even comparable, sir.† You can't even use the commercial property when your comparing with residential property, not even an issue.
Kroboth:† Well, the
Kjolseth:† You can assume anything you like, sir.
Linda Kovich, clerk of the board:† (not intelligible, this is a guess at what she said) I would like to state for the record that a letter from this board was sent to Mister Kroboth, stating that this board does not have to disclose any of its personal information or applications.† The information was sent and all of Mister Krobothís requests have been addressed in writing and information was provided based on what was lawful to be provided, and the names were provided.
Kjolseth:† Just for your information this board is very, very well qualified.† Iíve been a real-estate broker for 36 years.
Kroboth:† I didnít get any information in advance.
Kjolseth:† Well, I donít care.
Kroboth:† I realize that.
Kjolseth:† Iím just telling you.† We donít have to give it to you.† Iím just telling you.
Kroboth:† Thatís all right. †Itís all on record for a future court date.
Kjolseth:† We have several other members that are equally as experienced as I am.
Male Board Member:† What do you want to do, sue us, or do you want to know whatÖ?
Kroboth:† That will come at a later date, weíve got it all on record, thatís all thatís important.
Kjolseth:† We are trying to help you.
Kroboth:† No, youíre not trying to help me, you are part of the system, you are abusing the system.† You are political hacks.
Male Board Member:† If you do that one more time, I am going to requestÖ
Kroboth:† Is this meeting over?
Kjolseth:† As far as you are concerned, it is.
by Robert A Kroboth WWW.CitizenGadfly.Com
Please print and distribute copies of this publication and put this link on your website.
or the means
of acquiring it,
is but a prologue
to a farce
or a tragedy;
or, perhaps both.