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Forum discusses assessors

CROWN POINT - Should Crown Point scrap its present elected board of assessors in favor of a sole appointed one?

That was the issue at a citizen's forum Sept. 22 at the Crown Point fire hall. About 100 people turned out to question a panel of three assessment experts.

Serving on the panel were Carl Ross, an elected assessor in Crown Point; David Galarneau, an appointment sole assessor who serves Westport, Willsboro and Elizabethtown; and Bob Rowe of the Essex County Real Property tax Office.

David Blades, Lewis supervisor, served as moderator.

The issue has been debated by the Crown Point town board, although no decisions have been made.

Ross made it clear he supports the current system.

"We have been working together for 20 some odd years," Ross said of himself and assessors Steve MacKay and Glenn Porter. "All of us are local and we know everybody in Crown Point. That's a big asset.

"If you don't like the way you're treated by an assessor, you've got two other assessors you can go to," he added. "If someone is sick or away there is always an assessor in town. The two people I assess with are very knowledgeable and do a good job."

Ross disputed the idea a change would save money.

Crown Point Supervisor Bethany Kosmider, who did not speak at the meeting, said later a change to a sole assessor will save the town about $25,000 a year.

After the meeting, Komider said, "The people elected the board and the supervisor to make decisions in the best interest of all the people. In tough budgetary times we are forced to make some unpopular cuts. With a possible 30 percent tax increase in the county budget, we are forced to make frugal decisions and save money without cutting services.

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