District 4 County Commissioner Mike Sisk has been accused of voting in an incorrect polling place
Commission Chairman Tin Guffey received a call from a poll worker last Friday asking why Sisk was voting in the wrong precinct. Guffey said he unaware of the situation, but he would look into it.
“I looked his address up, went and looked, and I did find out he was voting in the wrong precinct. He is supposed to vote at the Estillfork polling place, but he has been voting in Princeton,” said Guffey.
The poll worker told Guffey they have told Sisk he was voting in the wrong precinct, and that Sisk refused to vote anywhere else.
Sisk contends that he votes in the correct precinct and has never refused to vote in the correct polling place. Sisk said he received a statement in the mail a few weeks ago saying he is supposed to vote in Princeton.
Guffey said when he pulled up Sisk’s address, he noticed two homesteads. He asked Revenue Commissioner Jeff Arnold how someone could have two homesteads, and Arnold said they are not supposed to.
Arnold said citizens are due a homestead exemption for their primary residence. It is a Class 2 property assessed at 10%, and you get an additional $49 discount on top of that.
Sisk has one homestead exemption at address in Hollytree. It was signed in 2011 with a change making Sisk the sole owner. Sisk said he purchased the home in the early 1980s, and he moved his parents into the house in 2009 after his father had gone through some health issues. He moved his parents there because the house is handicap accessible. Sisk still owns the house, and his business is right next door.
His other homestead exemption is at an address in Estill Fork. It was signed in 2013, and it is Sisk’s current residence.
Arnold said his office normally would catch something like this in their annual correlation, but with 40,000 parcels and 60,000 people in the county, some get missed.
He said it is up to the owner to know whether or not they signed for a homestead. Arnold said it was probably not caught because the names on the deed are different and the addresses are different. Arnold said he would ask which one Sisk wanted to remove, and he would remove one of the homestead exemptions.
Arnold also said it would be up to him to make Sisk pay back taxes on one of the properties, but he probably will not. Arnold said some of the responsibility is on his office, but he said they cannot go through every parcel with a fine-toothed comb.
Sisk said it was just an honest mistake, and it was not done intentionally.
“We’re all human. We all make mistakes,” said Sisk. “I’ve never had any delinquent tax. It just slipped through the cracks, and that can happen sometimes.”
“As elected officials, we’re supposed to be held to a higher standard. We’re supposed to know the rules,” said Guffey.
“When you’re involved in politics, sometimes people want to pass judgment,” said Sisk. “My purpose is to serve the people of Jackson County and do what’s best for them. As your District 4 Commissioner, I have served to the best of my ability, and I have tried to treat people the right way.”