BURKE - The town of Burke has a decision to make come Monday evening. The community will be voting on whether or not to keep their elected listers, or substitute them with a private company. A town’s listers are the people who keep track of the properties in town.
Every property in town has a value, which equates to the amount of taxes that must be paid on the property. Each town is required to have at least three listers on hand. Burke has been struggling to fill that third position for some time now. Sherry Noyes has been along for the journey, while Burke has struggled to find a third lister.
“I had just retired from my regular job and so I said ok, I’ll do it for a while till they get somebody… still waiting for them to have three people all the time,” explains Noyes.
Listers work for a few hours a week and do not receive the same benefits as a full time employee would. With smaller numbers in the office, it posses a tough task to keep up with the grand list.
“For years and years and years, we have not been able to have three listers… it just isn’t going to work with just two of us or one of us… and its just frustrating when they advertise and no on responds. Just one of those jobs that nobody’s excited about,” says Noyes.
Over the last decade, Bill Krajeski’s company, New England Municipal Consultants, has been doing the assessments of Burke properties. He too feels the hurt in attempting to find a third lister. “It’s become a really difficult thing to find people who really will put the time in to learn the functions. It takes a long time.”
If the Burke voters decide to replace the towns listers with Krajeski’s company, it could save the town 25-30 thousand dollars a year by eliminating Hazel Clark and Sherry Noeys’ elected positions. In terms of the New England Municipal Consultants role in the matter, it would not be a drastic change.
“In terms of our day by day tasks, they’re not going to change very much. Expect that one time of the year that grievances are filed, we take the lead role rather than the back role,” explains Krajeski.
The doors will open up for voting at 6pm on Monday, December 12th at the community building.