John Johnson Remembered

Unorthodox Campaign Announcement

by Mary Greendale
March 8, 2017

Last week, I took out papers to run for the Board of Assessors in the upcoming May 23rd town election. There is one open seat on the three-member Board.

Last week, I took out papers to run for the Board of Assessors in the upcoming May 23rd town election. There is one open seat on the three-member Board.

The Board of Assessors set policy and provide support to the fulltime staff of the office. Having spent many years in government policy and administrative roles, I feel comfortable with this work. I have served on the town’s Board of Selectmen twice -  1986-89 and again in a 1996-1999 term. I worked on local tax assessment issues as the Associate Director of the state’s Executive Office of Housing and Community Development. As the Director of Policy and Program Development for the Department of Agriculture, I represented the Agency on the Farmland Valuation Advisory Commission.

I believe I am qualified for the post and can accommodate the Board’s weekly early morning meeting schedule. But…now for the unorthodox – this press release is also a recruitment pitch.

I’d love to shine a light on this office and recruit a “new” face to run for this open seat. If that works and someone steps forward, I will not file my papers.

In my opinion, it is time for new faces to serve in town government. It’s part of the natural order of government – absent term limits. There should be turnover and an influx of new ideas, a fresh look at old processes and a level of curiosity that can result in worthwhile change.  Interested?

So what do the Assessors do?

“The board of assessors is responsible for the full and fair market valuation of real and personal property for the purposes of levying the property tax as of January 1 every year. Because we have professional staff, the day-to-day work of maintaining a database of all the properties falls to them, but the BOA must oversee that work.

The Department uses sophisticated computer systems today to reach those values, but there is legwork involved, too. The Assessors revalue each year based on market sales per statute.  New requirements indicate that now, every five years, there must be a total revaluation done of the town by the Department of Revenue to assure that process is accurate and consistent. The town valuation lags behind “real time” approximately 18 months.

Again, staff typically does this, but there are some occasions in which Board members will review properties in the ‘field’, or meet with tax payers for abatement requests. New members are required to take a weeklong training in Assessing practices. The Town pays for this, and there is a test the member must pass to be authorized to do the work of an Assessor.

Because they are called upon to be trained and to stay current with related laws by taking ongoing courses, the Assessors receive a stipend of $2,500 annually.

I’d be happy to talk with any prospective candidates, and if someone wants more information about the work of the Board, contact Peter Barbieri or John Cronin, current members. I hope someone steps forward, but if not, and someone has questions about my candidacy, please contact me at mmgreendale@gmail.com

 

 

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Comments (3)

I will be taking out nomination papers this week and running for reelection to the Holliston Board of Assessors. Since first being elected in May 2011 I have taken the necessary classes with exams, and obtained as well as re-certified my Massachusetts Accredited Assessor (MAA) designation (#1191, Expires November 6, 2019) from the Massachusetts Association of Assessing (MAAO), at my own personal expense. I also regularly attend various other seminars, conferences, and classes, from the MAAO and other real estate valuation and assessment education providers. And finally, I keep up with appellate tax board court cases and trends affecting assessing. I am running for reelection to the Board of Assessors to continue helping ensure the fair and equitable assessment of all real and personal property as of January 1, every year per Mass General Law and to assist in overseeing the fulfillment of all responsibilities of the board. Please vote for me for Board of Assessors on May 23, 2017.

- Brian Loughlin | 3/14/17 10:36 AM

Mary, what don't you run for Finance Committee?

- Leslie Dooley | 3/8/17 6:55 PM

You certainly have my support. Everything you do for the Town, and you do a lot, is done in an excellent fashion.

- Bob McGrath | 3/8/17 1:16 PM

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Steve Napolitano
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