Friday, Jul 20th

Last updateThu, 19 Jul 2018 7am

You are here: Home Content Village Voices Village Considers Hiring Consultants to Conduct an Organizational Evaluation of the Assessor's Office
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
Doing Business in Today's China

Doing Business in Today's China

A lot has changed since my first trip to China 31 years ago. Back t...

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

On July 14, a 32-year-old New Jersey Avenue woman reported she was ...

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Following years of controversy in Scarsdale about two property tax ...

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Sam Hershey SHS'01 A 2001 Scarsdale High School graduate made headlin...

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick announced that the district h...

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Village Considers Hiring Consultants to Conduct an Organizational Evaluation of the Assessor's Office

management-consultingIn an effort to restore public trust in the Scarsdale Village Assessor's Office after the controversial 2016 revaluation, Village Managers are proposing to retain a professional consulting company to do an organization assessment of the office. The consultants would study the current workings of the office, analyze processes, research best practices in other municipalities and make recommendations to improve their effectiveness and efficiency.

Looking toward the next revaluation the consultants would investigate technologies and methodologies to give the Village a roadmap toward selecting a vendor to conduct future revaluations. Village Manager Steve Pappalardo maintained that bringing in an outside firm to conduct the evaluation would help build community confidence in the results.

Pappalardo said that the Village had contacted four potential firms, met with three and received proposals from two. After evaluating both proposals Pappalardo recommended that the Village retain Management Partners from Cincinnati, Ohio at a cost of $34,990 for 179 hours of work. Management Partners also brought in a subcontractor, John Burin, who has expertise in assessments to assist with the job.

On Tuesday night 2-28 the Trustees invited Kevin Knutson from Management Partners and John Burin to make a presentation and answer questions. Knutson said he was a former Village Manager of Coral Gables Florida who now works at Management Partners, an 80-person firm with over 700 clients in 41 states.

He introduced John Burin who is a former city manager in Elmira, an assessor and the former owner of an appraisal company. He said his role would be to "eliminate the controversy over the revaluation," and to "Come up with recommendations on how we can do things more efficiently and transparently." The consultants would interview communities that have been successful with keeping assessments up to date and determine what software and methodologies they use to maintain valuations at market rate.

Both the Trustees and residents in attendance questioned the consultants intensively. Trustee Marc Samwick wanted to know if the outcome of the project would be specific recommendations on whether the Village should conduct another revaluation or set up a continuous process to update valuations. Deb Pekarek wanted to know if the consultants would investigate potential revaluation vendors and provide costs. Matt Callaghan asked if the consultants would provide a timeline of deliverables.

Burin came under particular scrutiny because some said that Elmira real estate was in no way similar to that of Scarsdale. He said, "We didn't have the values you have in Scarsdale in Elmira, but we did have big shifts in commercial vs. residential values. It was very controversial. Assessment offices in New York are all governed by the New York State Office of Real Property and everyone is dealing with the same thing."

Audience members questioned Burin about his experience and found that he conducted revaluations in the 1990's and was not familiar with the software that is now used but Burin said that Management Partners would provide technological expertise.

Others asked if the consultants would meet with the public to get their views on the issues.

Though the consultant's task was to analyze the organization and the processes, Robert Berg questioned the assignment saying, "We all know what the problems are." Trustee Bill Stern responded and said, "I take exception to Bob's statement that everyone knows what the problem is – everyone does not agree – there are issues that need to be dissected. Anyone who comes in with bias is not doing a service."

Berg asked, "How can we be confident if you're not familiar with the models?"

Michael Levine said, "You both mentioned efficiency. It's not an issue of efficiency and not an issue of building permits or exemptions. If you think those are the issues you're not up to speed. The issues are supervision. Problems in the department were not elevated to the Village Managers and the Board. There are issues with public trust and acceptance. How did we get to this credibility issue? That's why I think you are here."

Steve Pappalardo assured Levine that "The firm is fully aware of what happened. They are going to do an overall management study of that office. They are not going to come out with a recommendation on building the proper model. But we are going to come out with a plan to hire a new firm to do a revaluation."

The Trustees said they would mull over the meeting and come up with a recommendation after subsequent discussion.

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

Good Work

SETTING

Scarsdale Swimmers to Cross Long Island Sound to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

Scarsdale Swimmers to Cross Long Island Sound to Raise Funds for Cancer Research

Michael Zeller, Amanda Rachlin, Doug Rachlin, Joe Kaufman, Joel Talish, Carol Wolfe, Eldad Blaustein, Josh Glantz, John Needham Next week,...

Read More

Around Town

SETTING

Low Income Students to Receive Free Dorm Supplies from Grad Bag on July 20

Low Income Students to Receive Free Dorm Supplies from Grad Bag on July 20

When you are the first in your family to go to college, there is already a lot to worry about financially, so it was a huge relief to Nas...

Read More

Neighborhood News

SETTING

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Scarsdale Forum Committee Releases Report on 2014 and 2016 Property Tax Revaluations

Following years of controversy in Scarsdale about two property tax revaluations in 2014 and 2016, a committee of the Scarsdale Forum stud...

Read More

On Our Minds

SETTING

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Wrongfully Convicted Man Freed as a Result of Scarsdale Grad's Work

Sam Hershey SHS'01 A 2001 Scarsdale High School graduate made headlines this week for his success in freeing a man who had been wrongfully c...

Read More

On Our Radar

SETTING

Doing Business in Today's China

Doing Business in Today's China

A lot has changed since my first trip to China 31 years ago. Back then, I was an international banking officer covering Asia. I used a ma...

Read More

Parenting

SETTING

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Melissa Feinberg Hired as Assistant Principal at Fox Meadow School

Assistant Superintendent Drew Patrick announced that the district has hired an assistant principal for Fox Meadow School. Melissa Feinber...

Read More

Village Voices

SETTING

50th Anniversary Celebration at the Scarsdale Pool this Weekend

50th Anniversary Celebration at the Scarsdale Pool this Weekend

The Scarsdale Pool Complex will celebrate their 50th Season with a variety of festivities this weekend! All Scarsdale residents are invit...

Read More

Shout it Out

SETTING

Police Use Phone Alert System In An Effort To Locate Missing Man

Police Use Phone Alert System In An Effort To Locate Missing Man

On July 11, police Scarsdale Police used “A Child is Missing Alert Program,” in an effort to locate a missing elderly man. The program ge...

Read More

School News

SETTING

Board of Ed Elects New Leaders and Approves Synthetic Turf for Butler Field

Board of Ed Elects New Leaders and Approves Synthetic Turf for Butler Field

The 2018-19 Board of Education: Left to Right: Bill Natbony, Alison Singer, Nina Cannon, Scott Silberfein, Chris Morin, Pam Fuehrer and L...

Read More

Schools

SETTING

Where are the Kindergartners? School District Experiencing Enrollment Dip

Where are the Kindergartners? School District Experiencing Enrollment Dip

If current trends hold, the Scarsdale School district may have the lowest enrollment in the last ten years when school opens in September...

Read More

The Goods

SETTING

Lulu's Cake Boutique Creates Life-Sized Replica of Marilyn Monroe

Lulu's Cake Boutique Creates Life-Sized Replica of Marilyn Monroe

Lulu¹s of Scarsdale was recently called on to create the centerfold for this year¹s Edible Hudson Valley #Foodporn themed edition. Never ...

Read More

Real Estate

SETTING

Real Estate: Home Sales Figures for the First Half of 2018

Real Estate: Home Sales Figures for the First Half of 2018

The number of home sales is off for the first half of the year in both Scarsdale and Edgemont.

Reports show that in the Scarsdale School D...

Read More

Today's News

SETTING

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

Police Report: Woman Scammed Out of $2K by Dating Site Contact Posing as Scarsdale Bank Branch Manager

On July 14, a 32-year-old New Jersey Avenue woman reported she was “scammed” out of $2,000 by a man and woman who claimed to work for Cha...

Read More

Arts and Entertainment

SETTING

Fall off the Bone BBQ and More at Smokehouse Tailgate Grill

Fall off the Bone BBQ and More at Smokehouse Tailgate Grill

With the warm days of summer upon us, we think of barbecues and grilled treats. Enjoy the taste of bbq without the fuss of preparing it y...

Read More

People

SETTING

Changing of the Guard at Fox Meadow School

Changing of the Guard at Fox Meadow School

The Scarsdale School District is wasting no time filling two unexpected vacancies at Fox Meadow Elementary School.

In June, both Principal...

Read More

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Programs for Scarsdale Kids