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Push to fire appraiser fails

Staff writer

A motion to fire Marion County Appraiser Cindy Magill — at the request of petitioners — failed because of a lack of a second at a special Marion County Commission meeting Monday.

Commissioner Randy Dallke made the motion. He had voted against re-appointing Magill at a June 15 meeting.

Many people contacted Commissioner Bob Hein about the appraiser, he said. Some said Magill had been friendly and professional, while others disagreed, he said.

In light of his discussions and state statutes that limit why a county can dismiss an appraiser, he said he would not vote to release Magill.

“I do not feel there are any grounds to fire Cindy,” Commission Chairman Dan Holub said.

He said he called some of the people who signed the petition. Many of the people he called said they had never interacted with the appraisers office. Petition organizers said the effort to dismiss Magill was about her personal skills, so Holub questioned why there were signatures from people who hadn’t interacted with Magill.

“What are they based on?” he asked.

Diepenbrock said that the commissioners, despite being elected officials, were ignoring the petition.

“Maybe the problem is more than the appraiser,” Diepenbrock said to Holub. “Maybe it’s you.”

Siebert said if the commissioners were concerned about the legality of dismissing Magill, a neutral third party — a court — could sort it out. He said he thought it was odd that the U.S. president can be impeached, but a county appraiser can’t be fired.

Commissioners had met with Magill in closed session Friday to pose some questions. They also met with County Attorney Susan Robson in closed session for 30 minutes to discuss matters protected by attorney-client privilege.

Dallke said he was prepared to move on because he had been outvoted. He thanked petition organizers for making an effort to solve what they felt was a problem.

“I think you’ve done your democratic duty,” he said.

Magill told commissioners she appreciated their decision.

“Our office strives to handle all taxpayer inquiries with the utmost professionalism,” she said after the meeting. “Hopefully we can all get over this and move on.”

Some petition organizers weren’t as optimistic.

“I think it’s a sad, sad day for Marion County today,” Micki Siebert said.

Last modified Nov. 4, 2009

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