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Sole assessor not a vendetta

Guest Viewpoint - Decision for the good of Crown Point

There are some that seem to think that the vote to move to sole appointed assessor (in Crown Point) was done out of an act of vengeance. You will believe what your mind tells you. My heart, spirit and love of our town and it’s people was the reason for my vote. I have lived in this town for over 61 years. I know almost everyone who lives here. To think I would cast a vote out of an act vengeance that I knew would have negative responses against some residents of this community, as well as negative impacts on my family and my wife’s own family (Carl Ross is her uncle) is absurd.

The idea of a sole assessor was first explored in early 2010 in response to a recommendation brought to us from our newly-formed budget reduction committee. After hours of research the budget reduction committee gave the board lots of information, including extensive comparisons of all the other towns in Essex County. This information was given to all board members to study, ask questions and do their own research. New York State has also encouraged the sole appointed assessor system because it costs the state so much less and puts a professional in the job. I became convinced that it was the most cost effective approach for our small community in these extremely difficult economic times.

In our research in 2010 we obtained information from the Office of Real Property Service that was collected state wide in 2008. That information showed that out of 1,226 assessor positions 841 were municipal appointed, 125 were municipal elected three member teams and 12 were municipal elected sole. The remainder were county appointed (NYC Tompkins) and county elected sole (Nassau). In Essex County nine towns had changed over to sole appointed assessor and only one of those towns, Keene, had a public referendum. All the rest were changed by a board vote.

Robert Patnode Jr. is a Crown Point town board member.

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