By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
Responding the concerns about privacy and safety, Island County Assessor Dave Mattens decided to take down photographs of homes from the office's online database.
It's not the best or even a permanent solution, he said, but "a temporary stopgap measure."
"It didn't solve the problem, but just shifted the problem," Mattens said. "It's going to make some people happy, but it will upset other people."
Mattens spearheaded the acquisition this year of new software for the assessor and treasurer's office. When the mountains of data were transferred over to the new system, all of the photos that the appraisers had taken of houses ended up on the searchable online database.
A number of people in the community complained about the photos of their houses being online; they were especially concerned about images taken from backyards and places not visible from public areas.
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