To The Daily Sun,
The move by some in Alton to remove the current assessor, Tom Sargent, and replace him with a contract assessor appears to make no sense. A review of Mr. Sargent's compensation and monies being paid to contract assessors in the region makes clear that the Town of Alton is getting a bargain.
Not only is Mr. Sargent being paid less than most assessors in the area, he costs the town less than what most other communities are paying for contracted services. More importantly, the town would be losing the services of one of the area's most respected assessors, one known for is professionalism and competence.
In my work as an independent fee appraiser, I have had the opportunity to know first-hand the level of assessing services throughout our region and across the state. None top that provided by Mr. Sargent. I've had the opportunity both to challenge assessments in Alton as well as to work with the town when challenges have been raised by others. In both cases, I've seen Mr. Sargent work hard to resolve disputes with the single goal of having accurate, well supported assessments.
I trust that the citizens of Alton will see that giving up that level of service in return for what amounts to part time assessing services simply makes no sense.
William J. McLean III