Casualty of the crash: An example of fiscal hardship
by The Anniston Star Editorial Board
Feb 26, 2011 | 1656 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Much has been written about the pain and suffering of people who lost their homes as a result of reckless greed and an unregulated financial industry whose policies created the housing bubble that burst.

However, often overlooked is the pain and suffering of people who are cleaning up the mess they did not create.

Consider the case of David Fields, tax commissioner of Cherokee County, Ga.

Fields had been tax commissioner for 28 years. In good times, there was little difficult about it. Most people paid their taxes on time. Seldom did the county have to take them to court.

Then, about a year ago, things began to change. And, as it did, the “normally happy and upbeat” David Fields began to change, as well.

When the housing market collapsed and recession followed, people began losing their jobs. They had difficulty making ends meet. And some could not pay their taxes.

That was when Commissioner Fields, as he told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, began “foreclosing on the homes of people I have known all my life.”

He wanted to help, but what could he do? His job was to collect taxes and take action if taxes were not paid.

He began having stomach problems, then depression. Medication failed to help.

Then his doctor told him, “If you don’t quit, you’re going to have a stroke or a heart attack.”

So, with two years left in his term in office, David Fields turned in his resignation and Cherokee County lost a good public servant.

His replacement, Sonya Little, says she thinks she can handle the pressure. However, as she looked at a list of 70 properties that will be sold in the next foreclosure auction, she added, “this is only my second week. Ask me a year from now.”

She knows that there is always the possibility that she will be another casualty of the crash.
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Casualty of the crash: An example of fiscal hardship by The Anniston Star Editorial Board

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