The position of Assessor in the Town of Jerusalem is getting a significant overhaul. Elected Assessor Alan Comstock has retired, but isn’t going anywhere just for the moment. He has been made acting assessor until another acting assessor can be found. That acting assessor will continue until the town chooses a permanent assessor, but first the town has to decide how to choose the new permanent assessor.
Confused? Who’d blame you?
Jerusalem is the last town in Yates County to still elect the assessor, and one of only 12 towns in all of New York to have a sole elected assessor. Over 840 towns have gone to appointments, and the board wants Jerusalem to join them. Board member Neil Simmons informed the public at the town board meeting Jan. 19, it has gotten much harder to be certified for the post.
Many towns share appointed assessors. In Yates County, Mary Lilyea serves for the towns of Benton, Potter and Torrey, Pat Grimaldi serves Middlesex and Milo, and Anthony DeStephen serves Barrington and Starkey, as well as the village of Dundee. Italy’s Assessor, Kathleen Davis, also serves towns in two other counties.
The terms for either are both six years, but with a shift in dates. The current elected term is Jan. 1, 2006 - Dec. 31, 2011. Appointed terms run Oct. 1, 2007 - Sept.30, 2013. The changeover, compounded by Comstock’s retirement, is the cause of the complications.
A public hearing will be held at the board’s next meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 15. Yates County Board of Elections officials are still looking into timing details for petitions.