What Could Have Doomed The City's Appraisers?
Over the past 2 months, I’ve made a dozen Sunshine requests for public records from the City. In late March I requested “Appraisal Information on properties” and gave the address for the Flipper property, the Whelan, Tinsley and Car Wash properties. Three business days later I paid the clerk a bit over $20 dollars and received appraisals for three properties and a denial for the Whelan appraisal stating it was pending litigation and therefore not available under Sunshine laws.
The city didn’t provide me with actual appraisals, but, instead provided me with “Appraisal Reviews”. Two names showed up on the reviews, Richard Eggers and Connie Roe. I called Smith and Co on two separate occasions to verify their employment.
What struck me as odd was that on one Appraisal Review the Property appraised by line said Richard Eggers and then on the back side, the Review was signed by Connie Roe and Doug Bagby. On the second appraisal, the appraisal was performed by Connie Roe and the Review signed by Richard Eggers and Doug Babgy. And, as you can see, neither signer dated their signature. [Click to view one of the appraisal reviews]
I emailed a copy of the appraisal reviews to a friend. We laughed about the absurdity of the same company appraising and reviewing the appraisal. But, however unethical or corrupt it appeared to us, we just chalked it up to city tactics to ensure they got the appraisal value they wanted.
But my friend forwarded the copy on to an local, board-certified appraiser who instantly recognized the practice as outside the rules and regulations of their trade. The “Appraisal Review” was forwarded on to a commissioner on the state board of certified real estate appraisers. Less than a week later, the Appraisal Division of Smith & Company closed their doors.
We are cleaning up our city, it takes good people who respect our community enough to make a difference. It’s happening! Both my friend and the appraiser have asked to remain anonymous to prevent a target being placed on their back. It is sad that we live in a community where those who make a difference fear retaliation from their local government…but some day, that too will change.