Reappointment of the Evans assessor is still in limbo, at least until the Town Board has a chance to talk with her about accusations that she’s showing favoritism with some of her property appraisals.
Since an Evans taxpayers group made those complaints earlier this month, Councilman Paul T. Cooper said, he has spoken with Assessor Jeanne C. Ebersole and is “100 percent satisfied” that the claims are untrue.
Cooper, however, asked Ebersole – a former real estate agent and former Erie County legislator – to meet with the entire three-member board so she can defend herself and answer questions from the other members.
Cooper on Jan. 2 submitted the resolution to reappoint Ebersole for another six years, but the motion was tabled by Supervisor Keith E. Dash and Councilman Dennis M. Feldmann after an outcry from Evans Taxpayers United.
While the taxpayer group has been publicly critical of Ebersole, Cooper said he also has received positive feedback about the assessor.
“She came in at a tough time,” Cooper said. “When she took office, we hadn’t been reassessed in 20 years – easily. ... People have to keep in mind we hired an independent, outside company with no ties to anyone to specifically conduct open, honest, fair assessments.”
“She had to bear the brunt of anyone that may have been disgruntled,” Cooper said. “I always thought she has been very forthright, very honest and open in how she deals with the public.”
Cooper would prefer the meeting between Ebersole and the board to come during an executive session, so board members can “speak very frankly with her and address the issues.”
Cooper didn’t know whether that meeting would take place during the board’s work session Wednesday.
“I would prefer it to be sooner than later, regardless of the direction the board goes with this,” Cooper said. “This is something that needs to be done with. It’s a distraction to running our everyday business.”