After months of collaboration, the town of Van Buren voted against entering into a Coordinated Assessment Program with the town of Lysander. But all isn't lost yet, as Van Buren followed with a resolution to share assessor Theresa Golden with Lysander for a year to work out the kinks and determine whether a CAP agreement would work for residents.
Van Buren councilors Claude Sykes, Wendy Van Der Water, Ronald Dudzinski and Howard Johnson voted against forming the CAP, while Supervisor Mary Crego and Coucilor Dan Quackenbush voted for it.
"The majority (of the Van Buren board) felt that it may be a disservice to the Van Buren taxpayers since the assessor would be in Lysander three days each week," said Sykes, who will become the Van Buren Supervisor in January. "As a compromise, we passed a motion that Mary write a letter to Lysander stating that we would entertain sharing our assessor for a one year trial period rather than going through the formalities of the state program until we know if the program would be feasible."
Lysander had approved the CAP agreement at their Nov. 19 board meeting with a three to two vote. Supervisor Barry Bullis and councilors Art Levy and George Rowland voted for the agreement, while councilors Jack Krisanda and Brian May voted against it. The approval was contingent upon the approval of the agreement by Van Buren and the go-ahead of Lysander's attorney.
Bullis added that since Lysander was ready to enter into the CAP agreement, he believed the board would be ready to share an assessor.
"I'm not really clear why (the CAP) was voted down," Bullis said, adding, "we're ready if they want to try sharing for a year, but it will require board approval."
Where did CAP idea come from?
Lysander approached Van Buren about creating a CAP agreement after Lysander's assessor Don Long announced his resignation this past summer. Since then, Julie Nicolini has been serving as Lysander's acting assessor. Despite Nicolini's presence, Van Buren councilors expressed concerns with the state of Lysander's assessing department since Long's departure, and worried it would affect the service currently available to Van Buren's residents.