The Town Board has been discussing a proposed local law which would reduce the Assessment Department from three elected assessors to one appointed assessor.  This proposed local law is part of a plan for setting continuing education requirements and hours to be worked by the assessor, reducing the cost of maintaining the Assessment Department and insuring the Town and its property owners access to an accredited assessor in the future.  The plan will not involve laying off office aides in that department or reducing the total number of hours of service to be worked by those employees, but to better use some of those hours of such employees to perform other tasks where the Town is short-handed.  The plan would allow the Town to operate the Assessment Department in a manner which conforms to the practices in the vast majority of Assessment Departments in Dutchess County and in the State of New York.

This proposal should not be construed as a criticism of the existing assessors.  Rather it is a recognition that the Town must plan for the future and make better use of existing resources.  Indeed, members of the Town Board wish to appoint the existing Chairman for the six-year term prescribed by state law for a single appointed assessor or, if he declines, to hire an experienced accredited assessor or looking into the possibility of partnering with another town having such an assessor.

Read On: