After reading the Sept. 11 article about the generosity and acts of kindness that Claudia Viles has done (“Claudia Viles, even after tax theft conviction, commands community favor”) I feel the need to respond.

There are many people in our community who have silently done acts of kindness to friends and neighbors in our area in times of need. We are a small poor town and many of us look out for each other. We do these acts with our own money and not with money taken from our poor town. Sure, being a “Mrs. Robin Hood” and giving to the poor is great but not with monies taken from the rich and also from the poor.

Although her charming personality and demeanor did not show this side of her, we wonder if her motives were more about trying to cover up her crime and to insure her re-election from year to year. Let’s face it, any new excise tax collector would have discovered the difference in collections since it was so blatant and she would have been caught anyway.

Viles also did not use all her illegal income in gifts to others. She also gifted herself in forms of trips, jewelry and taking friends on excursions.

We know how much money she stole in the past five or six years but what about the 36 years prior? We will never know the extent or length of how long this went on.

It is hard to believe her supporters still do not believe what she has done. Maybe when they take a look at their real estate tax bills this year and see the reduction in some cases of hundreds of dollars they will see through her charm.

Joyce (Dodie) Dillon


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