I hope this letter will be informative to voters next week.
Fact: Primary election will be next Thursday. This is because of the anniversary of Sept.11, 2001, terror attacks.
Fact: In New York state, you cannot just enroll in school and become a certified assessor. You have to be hired or elected and sponsored by a municipality. With special approval, a data collector or other support staff in an assessor's office may be deemed eligible for training.
Fact: Both Broadalbin assessors currently in office had no related experience before being elected. Yes, it does not make sense that it's standard procedure to put a person with no experience into the position that determines your property value. That is the wisdom of New York state.
Fact: Assessors must complete their training and pass tests for their certification within three years or the state will remove them from their position. This did happen in Broadalbin more than 10 years ago.
Fact: There is taxpayer expense in training all assessors - having a background in real estate or insurance appraisal does not waive classes and save money.
Fact: If you are 18, you are old enough to be an assessor. At 18 you can register to vote, enlist in the military and carry a gun, and we applaud our high school graduates as they take on huge loans and go to college for a career they hope to have. Lolalynn Steele had planned on following in her father's footsteps someday after he retired. Her running for assessor now is a solid career choice based on a familiarity with tasks in that office.
Fact: Years ago, when I was a town councilman, I did advocate for the other assessor candidate to be appointed to the Board of Assessment Review where he served as chairperson. An important fact that voters should know is that during his term, he abruptly resigned. How does this person expect to handle the stress of being an elected official for four years if he could not handle dealing with the public and other officials a few months a year?
The last fact that I'd like to share is that every vote at the local level does make a difference. The polls are open for primary voting on Sept. 13, from noon until 9 p.m.