Nov 13, 2009 Ami Olson Uncategorized
Newly appointed as the town of Elbridge assessor, Celeste Karakas attended the Elbridge Town Board meeting Wednesday Nov. 4 and reported to the board that the assessment office would be starting a “little bit of a different approach.”
Karakas said she has begun processing data that was not processed after this year’s revaluation.
“I’m finding I have quite a bit of data to catch up on,” Karakas said.
She asked that Elbridge property owners check ongov.net to verify that the information on record for their property is correct, and notify the office immediately if they find an error.
Karakas also told the board that informal hearings, when property owners have the opportunity to discuss their tentative assessment with the assessor, could begin early if necessary.
Part of the reason she came onto the job with a hefty workload was that last year’s sales were never verified, Karakas said.
Karakas is also the assessor for the town of Camillus. Elbridge and Camillus entered into a coordinated assessment program last month, hiring Karakas in place of former assessor Larry Fitts.
Resident Dan Conroy, who ran unsuccessfully last week for a spot on the town board, asked Karakas whether she would be visiting each property to visually verify the data on file in the office.
One of the community’s chief concerns regarding the CAP with Camillus was the large number of parcels one assessor would be responsible for keeping track of.
Karakas said her method of staying on top of changing property data would be to keep up to date with sales and to drive by all properties in the town.
New voting system ‘disappointing’
Councilor George Betts entered a resolution Wednesday expressing disappointment in the new voting machines that had been in use for the previous day’s elections, and his concerns were echoed by several in the audience.
“I did not feel nearly as comfortable with the voting process,” Betts said of the scanning machines, which the county replaced the lever-style machines with this year in several towns. “Frankly, it just seemed like we’ve taken a lot of steps backwards.”
Betts, along with several audience members, was concerned with the lack of privacy offered by the new system, which required voters to transport their ballots from a cubicle to the scanning machine. Betts also found the new system to be more physically demanding for handicap voters and called the cost of the new machines to taxpayers “outrageous.”
He noted that his complaints were with the new system, and were not a reflection on the election inspectors.
Audience members also found the new process time consuming and were disappointed that there was no way of confirming that a voter’s ballot was “read” correctly by the scanning machine.
Visit cnylink.com for more board notes.