Oak Bluffs offers higher pay for new assessor

— File photo by Mae Deary

In an unusual Monday afternoon meeting, on December 17, 2012, Oak Bluffs selectmen agreed on a salary offer to David Bailey to become the town’s new principle assessor. Mr. Bailey is the director of assessing in Falmouth where he worked with town administrator Bob Whritenour when Mr. Whritenour was Falmouth town manager.

According to minutes of a closed-door executive session, Mr. Whritenour proposed an offer of $85,000.

To standardize pay and raises according to similar job classifications, and similar salary scales in other towns, Oak Bluffs’s current compensation and classification schedule assigns the top salary for the assessor’s position at $75,700. The town assigns its employees a wage and step level, according to the schedule voted each year at town meeting.

Mr. Whritenour said the new principal assessor can save the town money by doing residential revaluation work that is currently done by an outside company.

“He comes with a huge amount of experience, and that pay scale is a little out of date,” board vice-chairman Walter Vail said. “The overall net effect of the higher salary, and what we can save, will probably be less money overall.”

Mr. Vail said he expects Mr. Bailey to accept the offer and begin work in the last week of January, but he has not formally accepted the position.

Selectman Gail Barmakian asked whether the board has the authority to offer a salary outside the classification and compensation plan and asked Mr. Whritenour to document the anticipated cost savings.

The town budgeted $68,320 for the principal assessor’s salary, $16,680 less than the offer to Mr. Bailey.

Diane Wilson, who has served as principal assessor for the past eight years, resigned in December, 2012.