County Executive Laura Curran has signaled her intention to appoint Robin S. Laveman as the new Assessor of Nassau County. Laveman’s appointment would succeed current Assessor David Moog in the post. Moog is being moved to another department.
For years, County Executive Curran and the Democratic Minority on the Legislature have been criticizing the County Assessors of previous administrations for not having the appropriate qualifications and certifications from the International Institute of Assessing Officers. Laveman, who is currently the Chairwoman of the Assessment Review Commission (ARC) also does not have the necessary qualifications as determined by the County Executive’s criticism of past assessors. Two members of the Assessment Department’s staff, as well as a recently retired member of the staff do have the necessary qualifications.
Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello and the Legislative Majority held a press conference on Tuesday, January 12th to call attention to the County Executive’s hypocrisy on this issue. It was specified, that this is not a personal attack on Laveman, but meant to be in accordance with the County Executive’s already stated criteria.
Further, the Legislative Majority renewed their calls for the creation of an Elected County Assessor position, answerable to the people of Nassau County rather than the County Executive. New Legislation has been submitted and a vote will go before the Legislature to put a referendum to move to an elected Assessor on the ballot in November of 2021. If the referendum is successful, there will be primaries and an election for the position in 2023. The bill filed today will go through legislative committees this February.
“After the mistakes and errors that have plagued the reassessment process and resulted in tax increases to 65% of homeowners, Nassau residents have a right to decide if they want an elected Assessor,” Said Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello. “It is clear from the County Executive’s attempt to appoint someone who lacks assessing experience and certifications, that the only questions is whether Nassau’s Assessor will be elected and responsive to the people or a political appointee as the county executive wants. We again call on the county executive to let the people decide.”
Nassau County previously had an elected Assessor but was removed in a referendum put to the people in 2008. Since then, the County Assessor has been an appointed political position made by the County Executive with the approval of the County Legislature. Under County Executive Curran, the County Assessor has also evaded the Legislatures questions and concerns about the reassessment and has been forced to admit to many missteps in the process. The Legislature has been forced to put into place laws to hold the Assessor as accountable for their mistakes. Further, Assessor Moog does not live in Nassau County and has felt none of the impact of his errors.
Newsday has reported that 65% of Nassau residents will see a tax increase because of the results of the County Executive’s reassessment.