Betty’s blunder: Albemarle County blows $900 on bungled land use letters

| August 1, 2017 | 1 Comments

Albemarle County’s retirement-ready Finance Director, Betty J. Burrell, has again blundered in the performance of her duties.

Following a string of embarrassing gaffes by Burrell’s Finance Department, an investigation by The Schilling Show has discovered another—this time involving notifications for Land Use taxation.

Initially, a Schilling Show listener reported receiving five land-use validation letters at his address, but all were for properties that he did not own. When reported to Burrell via email, she blamed a printing error and the United States Post Office:

Good morning,

I apologize for the printing error that resulted in an incorrect letter being sent to you. It’s unfortunate that the printing error was exacerbated by the USPS delivering mail addressed to individuals not residing at the address indicated on the letter.

Nevertheless, you should receive a corrected letter this week. Please discard the letters that were misdirected to your address.

Again, I’m sorry for any inconvenience this matter has caused you.

Sincerely,
Betty J. Burrell
Director of Finance
Albemarle County, VA
Do what is right the right way; let the consequences follow.

When questioned by the citizen taxpayer as to why she was blaming the Post Office, Burrell halfheartedly acquiesced:

It was not my intention to blame the postal service. It was totally our mistake. However, we have received several mail pieces back from the post office already.

Again, we are sorry it happened and we are adding measures to ensure these types of mistakes won’t happen in the future.

Thanks.
Betty J. Burrell
Director of Finance
Albemarle County, VA
Do what is right the right way; let the consequences follow.

An inquiry to the Albemarle County Executive’s office regarding the breadth and cost of Betty’s blunder yielded the following anonymous response, presumably from Burrell, herself:

The error was introduced into our spreadsheet when we attempted to remove properties belonging to a particular land owner from the list, having removed his properties from the land use program due to delinquent taxes on his properties.  Unfortunately, when we sorted the forestry list by owner’s name to remove those properties from the revalidation mailing, the manner in which this was done caused the owners names and mailing addresses to be mismatched.  Regrettably, during our Quality Control process we did not detect the error. This error resulted in an additional charge of $889.45 for the 1744 Forestry Letters and postage.

Based on this $889.45 “error”—and other recent, costly incidents—Burrell’s referenced “Quality Control process” seems to be lacking, at best. Sadly, Albemarle County taxpayers are left holding the bag for their government’s internal incompetence, and no one, apparently, is being held accountable.

About the Author:

Rob Schilling is founder of The Schilling Show Blog and News; host of WINA's The Schilling Show, heard weekdays from noon to 2 PM; husband; father; and community watchdog.
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1 Comment on "Betty’s blunder: Albemarle County blows $900 on bungled land use letters"

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  1. Al says:

    It’s chump change Rob, nobody cares about chump change. As for the explanation, it typical. Everyone deflects blame from themselves. Cowardly? Of course but start digging and cowards come out of the woodwork..

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