Fitch, Harder hold town hall in West County with Zimmerman on property assessments

Pictured above: Seventh District County Councilman Mark Harder nominates 6th District Councilman Ernie Trakas as presiding officer of the St. Louis County Council at the May 15 council meeting in Clayton. Trakas was unanimously named presiding officer, a role he will hold until a new chair and vice chair of the council are elected in January 2020. Photo by Erin Achenbach.

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman is appearing at a series of town halls with County Council members to address rising property assessments in the county.

After the first event last week in Lemay, residents in West County will get a town hall with Zimmerman too, sponsored by 3rd District Councilman Tim Fitch, R-Fenton, and 7th District Councilman Mark Harder, R-Ballwin.

Zimmerman will appear with Fitch and Harder at a town hall at noon Tuesday, June 25, at the Manchester Police Facility, 200 Highlands Boulevard in Manchester.

“Both councilmen have received numerous complaints and questions about large increases in property values,” the council members said in their announcement of the town hall.

Former 1st District Councilwoman Hazel Erby, D-University City, and 5th District Councilwoman Lisa Clancy, D-Maplewood, will co-host a town hall on assessments for mid-county residents at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 27, at the University City Library, 6701 Delmar Blvd. 

In addition to the West County and University City events, Zimmerman will co-host a second town hall with council Presiding Officer Ernie Trakas, R-Oakville, and Clancy from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 29, at the Affton White-Rodgers Community Center, 9801 Mackenzie Road.

The officials will try to livestream that event on Clancy’s Facebook page.

Like Fitch and Harder, Clancy and Trakas said they have been inundated with questions from their constituents about why property values are rising so much this year, a phenomenon seen countywide. Residents have made their concerns known to council members in all districts, they said.

“The extent and amount of increases in property values is alarming, and the appeals process is not necessarily easy to discern,” Trakas said in a news release from Clancy’s office. “In addition, access to the assessor and a better explanation of the appeals process is something the citizens are entitled to.”

Clancy added, “I’ve heard a lot of questions and concerns from my constituents about their assessed property values, and I welcome the opportunity to work with Councilman Trakas to get some answers.”

For full team coverage of the first assessment town hall last week, check out this week’s print edition of The Call for a front-page story.

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