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Carlton won’t reappoint assessor

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 June 2013 at 12:00 am

CARLTON – The town is looking for a new assessor, opting against reappointing Karen Adams to another six-year term in the position.

The Town Board made the decision on Tuesday. The board wants to fill the position by Oct. 1, when Adams will be out of the job. The board decided to make the decision this week to give Adams time to transition to another job and also give the town time to find a replacement, said Gayle Ashbery, the town supervisor.

There has been an uproar among residents in 2010 and 2013, both years when Adams led town-wide reassessments. Residents have filed numerous formal grievances that their assessments were set too high.

The board on April 15, in another packed town meeting, voted to freeze the property assessments at 2012 levels. The board said it would seek outside help to have 2,400 properties appraised.

Carlton is seeking proposals from firms for that task, which could be done in phases, Ashbery said.

Carlton officials will meet with Hamlin town leaders on Wednesday to hear how that municipality worked with an outside appraisal firm to set values for properties in the town.

The fees for data collection and appraising the town properties could top $100,000, said Councilman Jim Shoemaker.

An oversight committee will discuss the appraisal project on Thursday, and may make a recommendation to the full Town Board. Ashbery and Councilman Robin Lake are on that committee. It also includes Dawn Allen, the Orleans County director of Real Property Tax Services, and a representative from the state Office of Real Property Services.

Regarding Adams, Shoemaker noted the controversies in town for the past two reassessments.

“It just didn’t work out,” he said.