Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Francis Chester Still Fighting

The Churchville Lawyer who took on Augusta County is fighting back. Francis Chester is appealing the sanctions imposed by Judge Victor Ludwig.
Chester said Ludwig’s letter concerning the sanctions was more than just a professional, unbiased act by the judge. The 14-page missive included sharp criticisms of Chester.

“I am not going to let these sanctions divert me from the reassessment case,” Chester said. “I intend to pursue the reassessment case like a bulldog.”
See more at the NewsVirginian here. and more here


  1. Chester's lawsuit has costs for the taxpayers. $7000 as of October so its not hard to see that its now well over $10K at this point. At least this way, taxpayers who aren't being represented and would be forced to subsidize lowered assessments for the few, can recoup some of their costs.

  2. 10,500 citizens can't be wrong ... 1,000 showed up at the Board of Supervisors meeting at the Government Center in March 2009 with hundreds more locked out that night. Whit, the numbers you are quoting are very specific. What about all the citizens who have been unjustly taxed ... where's your concern for them?

  3. Those numbers come from my BOS member. I do not deny that people came out in droves for the final vote. However, I think the real # of actual property owners is closer to 8K (there are almost 40,000 parcels in the entire county). Significant, but no where close to a majority of property owners, much less citizens in the county.

    I contend that they are fighting (and being led towards)the wrong fight. The budget is the real fight. All of this energy being used to fight the reassessment allows officials to play a shell game with the #s. If you convince them to artificially lower your assessment, that means one of your neighbors has to pick up the tab through a higher tax rate. That is the taxpayer I am concerned about. Lets keep our eye on the ball, the budget and its numerous line-items.

    That almost leaves without saying the poor choice to file for a class-action when Mr. Chester should know that is not part of Virginia law. Do you think the judge casually handed down this sanction?

  4. FWIW- the #s on the cost to taxpayers in this lawsuit are still around $7k as of last week. The County Atty expects that to go up as Mr. Chester pursues this further.

    As an aside, I see that Bath County has started its reassessment again but with a new contractor. Its not going to be pretty when he comes up with the same ratio of increase and more as Blue Ridge did, and the county gets to pay twice for the same conclusion. I sure wouldn't want to be over there when those #s come out.