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Nashua may get new Chief Assessor after previously eliminating position

NASHUA – After eliminating the chief assessor position – at the time occupied by Jon Duhamel – earlier this year, Nashua has gone without someone directly overseeing the operations.

However, Administrative Services Director Kim Kleiner, whose duties include supervising the Assessing Department, now recommends officials hire a new chief assessor.

On March 1, the city eliminated the position and funding was removed from the planned fiscal year 2020 budget. Since that time, Kleiner said significant changes in management policies and procedures have been made. Officials said they have also improved functioning of the department.

“Hiring a chief now will add specific technical knowledge in assessing practices and technology that further evaluation has identified are required for the future goals of the department,” Kleiner said via email.

In September, Kleiner appeared before the Board of Aldermen to provide an assessing update, speaking of the department’s progress.

“I think the delay has enabled us to ensure that we can at least find the best person we possibly can now that the department has made a lot of improvements,” Mayor Jim Donchess said during Tuesday’s Board of Aldermen meeting.

A hiring committee will be formed to assist Kleiner with the interviewing process. From there, officials will make a recommendation to the mayor.

Meanwhile, much progress has been made within the department. This includes:

• Redesigning the entire website page for easier navigation;

• Enabling online access to property cards; and

• The “Assessing Monitor” newsletter, which is issued monthly and includes important dates and deadlines, notice of changes and updates within the department.

Moreover, Kleiner said the previous lack of mileage reporting within the department has also been addressed. She said assessors complete a mileage report, attach their field log, and all are required to have it reviewed and approved by Kleiner. She also receives all of the schedules.

Other improvements include a bonding request for a full measure and list and revaluation, which was approved by the Board of Aldermen in August.

Kleiner said approval needs to be obtained for the transfer of $95,700 from the General Contingency account for the purpose of funding the salary and benefits of a chief assessor position for the remainder of FY2020. Salary and wages will be in the amount of $70,000 and fringe benefits will be in the amount of $25,700.

“We need to obtain approval for the transfer from contingency, R-19-190, before we can post the position,” Kleiner said via email.

She said after its first reading, the resolution will then need to go to the Budget Review Committee and then back to the full board. From there, the job will be posted internally for five days, and publicly after that.

Adam Urquhart may be contacted at 594-1206, or at aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.