In the second clip, you will hear Patty Miller say that the entire Pictometry® process has been so bad that she is "embarrassed to be part of this." That's quite a statement. Remember that Miller's tenure has been characterized by a solid waste proposal that got crushed at the polls, by secret meetings on the CAO, and by the overall awful CAO process itself. As bad as those may have been, it is the County's handling of the Pictometry® situation that ultimately embarrasses her. That ought to put things in perspective.
One of the pieces of double-talk that we hear is that the Pictometry® photos are not really about monitoring or surveillance. Perish the thought. It's "change detection," not monitoring ... not the same thing at all. For example, Pictometry® describes its ChangeFindr™ Reports in the following way:
A Complete Change Detection Solution
ChangeFindr identifies and chronicles changes to a property (such as new construction, additions and demolition). The building outlines from the original orthogonal image are compared to more recent imagery. Changes are highlighted and classified as either: New, Changed, Possible Changed, Existing, Demolished or Unknown.
Commercial and residential property changes are ongoing. Buildings are demolished to make way for new structures. People are adding additions to their homes. New housing developments and retail establishments are being built. Often property changes are not reported which can have a big impact on tax valuation. Uncovering this type of information can be time consuming and expensive.
Pictometry ChangeFindr is a complete change detection solution that combines Pictometry® Electronic Field Study™, Pictometry® Change Analysis™ software and change candidate files. Used primarily by professionals in assessment, GIS and real property tax, ChangeFindr is a recognized resource for assessors across the country. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxable changes to properties have been discovered in jurisdictions all from the convenience of a computer.San Juan County access to the Pictometry® Change Analysis™ software was included in the contract, as was the following statement.
You are aware and understand that any user data collected or stored by the Online Services may be accessed by US law enforcement agencies under the US PATRIOT Act. You hereby release, and agree to hold Pictometry harmless from, all claims against Pictometry with respect to such access.It sure is good to know that we're not going to be monitored.
(For more, read Nick Power's article in the Island Guardian).