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Gouverneur delays assessor appointment

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GOUVERNEUR — The Town Council has delayed appointing Michael J. McQuade as assessor because it does not like the idea of a six-year term.

“We’re uncomfortable doing that,” Supervisor Robert R. Ritchie said. “It’s not Mike. He’s doing a great job. We want him to stay on.”

The town is still recovering from the turmoil of its last assessor, Dale L. Raymo.

After a widely criticized partial revaluation, Mr. Raymo was fired in 2010, but a court-appointed referee, who was backed up by state Supreme Court Justice David R. Demarest, reversed the decision. The town settled with Mr. Raymo last year for $140,000 and his resignation as assessor.

Mr. McQuade was named to fill out the remainder of Mr. Raymo’s term. While the council likes Mr. McQuade’s work, it is reluctant to lock in another assessor for such a long time and has asked town attorney Henry J. Leader to research the question.

“I’m assuming we have to go with six years,” Mr. Ritchie said. “We just want to see what our other options are.”

The question comes up periodically, St. Lawrence County Director of Real Property Darren W. Colton said.

Real property tax law calls for a sole appointed assessor to have a term of six years, he said.

“The purpose, I believe, is to take politics out of assessing,” he said.

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