To the editor:
My name is Mel Smith. My husband and I have been successful business owners in Lewistown Borough since 1990, almost a quarter of a century. Yes, we do owe and are paying on our property taxes. This is not something we are proud of but things like that happen. Our name was not the only names published by The Sentinel for taxes, so we are not alone in these trying times.
Since this is the worst dirt Nina Searer can dig up about us in an attempt to embarrass us into silence, then we have lived our lives in a way that we are proud of. If, as Nina Searer's letter states, we owe and have paid an average of $25,000 per year in property taxes (to clarify our actual property tax total for each year is over $32,000 not $25,000).
Now, lets do some figuring and put some things in perspective. What we owe in property taxes is a little more than one year of our total property tax bill. Lets take that tax bill times 10 years. The total is $320,000 in 10 years. I'm sure you will agree, we have definitely paid our share of property tax. I encourage Nina Searer to make public how much in property tax they have paid to Mifflin County in the past 10 years.
I am a private citizen and not running for public office. In my opinion, Nina Searer's letter about me was not an appropriate or normal response to a voter that was simply voicing their own personal opinion about an election.
Since reading Nina Searer's letter, I have asked myself several things like: Why such an over reaction to my opinion? Was the letter she wrote about me implying that if you are not up to date with your property taxes, they you are somehow a "bad person" and a person that has no right to an opinion? Was her letter an attempt to embarrass me into silence? Or was Nina Searer's letter just simply a very personal, vindictive and vicious attack on me and my family? I don't know what her motivation was but I think this whole situation is very sad.
In closing, I want to thank all my wonderful patrons, customers, friends, family and even perfect strangers that have offered their support, encouragement, free legal advice and words of wisdom to our family since all this has started. Thank you and bless you all.