Gary Stout's op-ed of Sept. 8 unwillingly makes the case for term limits for all elected officials including his three friends on the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

His letter of advocation for his friends is absent of their action rolling over on the taxpayers with a massive tax increase, then have the audacity to not step down. Term limits would remove them from office, receiving over $100,000 a year in taxpayer compensation for the next four years, and allow new leadership.

His reasoning why all three of his friends should be re-elected is a concern that a Republican majority may govern the board. He states how Washington County became dysfunctional when John Bevec and Diana Irey mismanaged the county in 2000, although Bevec and lrey are not Republicans. There has not been a Republican voice on the board since May 1998.

Mr. Stout does not mention the countywide tax reassessment costing over 6.7 million tax dollars along with thousands of taxpayers including me having our taxes increased and it continues with the other taxing bodies and the related taxes spent on thousands of appeals.

Mr. Stout's op-ed is an opportunity to remind taxpayers the current board of commissioners raised our taxes and are asking to be compensated over the next four years in excess of $400,000 each. It's not a political matter, it's a competence issue, and this board's legacy of not protecting taxpayers.

What other reason would one need to vote them out of office, as they will not volunteer to step down or protect taxpayers.

Joe Ford

Palm City, Fla.

The letter writer is a former Washington County commissioner.