Crown Point hires sole assessor

Will start work Jan. 1

A debate on assessing led to a bitter election campaign in Crown Point this fall.

A debate on assessing led to a bitter election campaign in Crown Point this fall.

— Crown Point has hired a sole assessor.

Richard Maxwell of Syracuse-based of Maxwell Appraisal Service was appointed by the town board during a special meeting Nov. 30. He’ll assume his duties Jan. 1.

The vote to hire Maxwell was 3-1 with Supervisor Bethany Kosmider, trustee Bob Patnode and trustee Yvonne DuShane in favor. Trustee Tom Walters opposed the appointment, while trustee Charles Mazurowski left the meeting early and did not vote.

Maxwell was one of two applicants for the position. The other was from Ticonderoga.

“We wanted a person who doesn’t know anyone in Crown Point,” Kosmider said. “We feel that’s the most fair way to go.

“We looked at all the areas of expertise and their qualifications,” she added. “They were both very good and very knowledgeable. I think we made a good choice.”

Maxwell was appointed to a two-year term, which will expire Dec. 31, 2013. At that time the board can re-appoint Maxwell or hire another assessor.

Maxwell will be paid $10 a parcel and receive health insurance. Crown Point has approximately 1,800 parcels, so Maxwell will get about $18,000 a year along with health insurance costing about $6,000.

Kosmider said the insurance costs could be reduced if Maxwell is also hired by another community. In that case the towns would split the cost of health insurance.

The sole assessor will have office hours in Crown Point two days a week throughout the year with additional hours in the spring leading up to Grievance Day. State law mandates a sole assessor must spent a minimum of 384 hours a year in a municipality.

Maxwell has a bachelor of science degree from Empire State College and a master in business administration from SUNY-Albany. He has been partnering with Mike Maxwell, owner of Maxwell Appraisal Service, on all revaluation projects since 2002. He recently completed a reval project in Broome County with 10,000 parcels.

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