Cicero, Salina take first steps to merge assessors

Dudzinski said that, while he hadn't spoken to the members of the assessment committee about the issue, he felt the board had taken all of their recommendations seriously.

"They did recommend a full-time assessor, but as Theresa Frank from ORPS pointed out, there aren't a lot of really good assessors out there," he said. "We have the opportunity to work with someone who's got a ton of experience and who's very good at what he does. I have all the faith in the world in Brad because of his 22 years of experience in Salina and his work with ORPS [Office of Real Property Services]."

But Tarwacki, the board's liaison to the assessment committee, disagreed.

"Cicero needs a full-time person," she said. "I do believe that the best interests of the people of the town of Cicero and the taxpayers whose values will go up or down need to have a person that they can come to and talk to."

She said Brennan's plan to be in Cicero part-time wasn't enough.

"There have to be qualified people in our office," she said. "I think it's a full-time job."

But Brennan said he could easily take on the reevaluation on a part-time basis.

"The work that comes in is something that I could certainly handle," Brennan said.

Trial run

The full CAP cannot go through until Cicero's assessment rolls are brought up to date and the town is operating on a full-value assessment basis, which is expected to happen by 2011. Therefore, the towns will be involved in an informal partnership until that time. Dudzinski compared it to the trial period used by the towns of Lysander and Van Buren when they merged their assessors' offices.

"They had a few people on their boards that said, 'Maybe this isn't a good idea, we're not sure about it,'" he said. "So they did it for a year under an informal agreement before they did the CAP, and they found that it was a good thing, and now everybody's happy with it."

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