Sole assessor comes under scrutiny for multiple appointments
Oct 15, 2018 7:45 am
Audrey Matott is reporting in an extensive piece for the Greenville Pioneer Sole Assessor Gordon Bennett continues to face public scrutiny as one local resident is calling into question the quality of his work, performed simultaneously for the towns of Coxsackie, Durham, Greenville and New Baltimore. The quality of Bennett‘s work performance was challenged in April during a Durham TownBoard meeting. Both board members and residents questioned Bennett regarding the data collection process that is now more than a year behind schedule. Bennett defended his performance and said the extensive delay was due to issues beyond his control. Cornwallville resident Jim Stone said that Bennett‘s explanations were not satisfactory or respectful to the taxpayers, and to gain more insight, Stone submitted Freedom of Information Law requests to all four towns seeking documentation pertaining to Bennett‘s employment as well as information on each town assessor‘s clerk and data collectors. Bennett works for four towns on a part-time basis, and based on the information received he is paid more than $107,000 a year by all four towns combined. According to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Office of Real Property Services, Bennett was initially certified as a state assessor in November 1995, as an advanced assessor in April 1997 and as a state certified professional assessor in September 2006. His continuing education requirements are met through September 2018. In an interview with the Pioneer, Bennett defended his multiple appointments, saying it is actually beneficial for residents because he is familiar with the neighboring towns and as a salaried public official that does not have strict office hours, he is able to assist people when needed, rather than making them wait for designated office hours. Bennett added that there are other assessors that serve multiple towns. Read the full story in the Greenville Pioneer.