WOODFORD -- After one lister resigned and another was removed from the position earlier this year, the Select Board was informed Wednesday that a third lister is also on her way out -- leaving the town without a board member.
Although the Select Board is still considering Sandy Harrington a lister as they have not received a letter or had a conversation with her about a resignation, Town Clerk Ron Higgins told the board at Wednesday's meeting Harrington has resigned.
"That is new information to the board. We have never received nor have we seen anything from Sandy Harrington indicating she is no longer a lister," Chairman Ryan Thurber responded.
Harrington could not be reached Friday.
Higgins, who himself has been a lister many years and was appointed earlier this year to fill a vacant lister position, was removed from the position by the Select Board a couple months ago for private reasons, Thurber said Friday. The other former lister, Betty Charette, resigned earlier this year.
Listers, in a position unique to Vermont, are responsible for the assessed valuation of real property in towns.
If Harrington does officially resign, Thurber said the Select Board has discussed appointing the Board of Civil Authority to fill the role of listers in the immediate future until other appointments by the board can be made. How temporary such a move would be may depend on whether there is anybody in the small town who wishes to take on the position. Traditionally, Thurber said, it has been difficult to fill all three positions.
"Typically the listing position is not one that is warmly received," Thurber said. "We want to find somebody who wants to do this and we would rather them approach us."
Not having any town listers could pose potential problems, particularly in the case a resident wishes to grieve their property assessment, which two property owners in Woodford are already in the process of doing.
"First you grieve to the listers. If you don't like the results from the listers you grieve to the Board of Civil Authority. If you don't like the results from the Board of Civil Authority then you grieve to the state," Thurber said.
One of those individuals has already met with the listers, but the other still needs to take their case to the listers. Of course, if there are no listers that process is interrupted. Even if the Select Board appoints the Board of Civil Authority to fill the lister positions it would pose a problem with the process because a person who grieves the assessment and does not get the results they want in the first step would then appeal to the same people in the second step.
Thurber said that until they receive a letter of resignation the Select Board will proceed as if it has one lister. Anyone in town who would like to become a lister, he said, is encouraged to contact the Select Board.
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