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Cicero approves shared assessment program with Salina

It's official: Cicero and Salina now share an assessor.

The Cicero Town Board voted 4 to 1 at their meeting Monday to approve a shared services agreement with Salina for assessor Brad Brennan's time. Salina's town board approved the measure at their March 9 meeting.

Both towns will save with the measure, Supervisor Chet Dudzinski said.

"One of the significant things with sharing an assessor is that we'll be able to save $20,000 to $25,000 immediately," Dudzinski said.

Brennan, who has been Salina's assessor for 22 years, will split his time between the two towns, being in Salina two and a half days a week and Cicero two and a half days a week. Otherwise, each office would be staffed with clerks, data collectors and other employees.

Cicero and Salina both have approximately 13,500 parcels, most of which are residential. Salina has assessed at full value for about the last nine years; Brennan was assessor when the town made the switch.

"He's probably one of the most capable individuals for the position in the state," Dudzinski said of Brennan. "You're able to talk to him. If there's an issue, he's more than willing to sit down with you."

Brennan will work for both towns at a salary of $91,000 to be paid by both Cicero and Salina.

Coming up to speed

The state of assessments in Cicero is poor; the town tried to reevaluate about a third of its properties last spring and faced extreme opposition from residents. As a result, the town rolled back those re-assessments to their 2007 levels.

In order to address the issue, the town formed a committee made up of citizens, professionals and town board member Charlotte Tarwacki. The committee called for the town to switch from partial to full assessments (as about 65 percent of towns in the state use), to add staff at the assessor's office, to improve the grievance process and to conduct a town-wide reassessment over the next two years.

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