Elizabethtown What was supposed to be an easy passage of a resolution became a who-done-who wrong debate during the Essex County Ways and Means Committee meeting Sept. 30.
At issue was the breakup of three towns which had, for the past six years, functioned as one assessing entity under a state Certified Assessment Program (CAP): Westport, Willsboro and Elizabethtown.
The resolution, which would allow the towns of Westport and Elizabethtown to hire a county employee to fill the role of assessor was questioned by Willsboro Supervisor Ed Hatch, who said his town wanted to keep the CAP in place but with the same assessor they had over the previous six years, David Galarneau.
“Willsboro is a part of this CAP,” Hatch said. “I am now having a discussions with the state who is trying to charge me for withdrawing from the CAP. We did not leave the CAP; we just decided not to go to the county.”
Westport Supervisor Dan Connell disagreed.
“We have a copy of the resolution that Willsboro was dropping out of the CAP,” Connell said. “We did not kick them out. One of the reasons that we are going to the county is because Willsboro is leaving the CAP.”
Connell later produced a copy of a resolution from the town of Willsboro dated June 12 where it voted on a motion from Nancy Huestis and a second from Shaun Gilliland to keep Galarneau as their assessor, “on an individual basis,” with all voting in favor. The town agenda also had an item titled, “Resolution to withdraw from the ... Cap program and send a notice to Westport and Elizabethtown to comply with the six month notice of the 2007 contract.”
Connell said because Willsboro officials voted to hire an assessor on their own, they had dropped out of the CAP.