Casco board to interview assessors

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — Most of the selectmen had studied the four proposals from the companies vying for the job of doing a property revaluation for Casco.

But, the Casco Board of Selectmen wasn’t ready to award the bid just yet.

There is still the process of interviewing the candidates in a public forum.

On Tuesday, the Casco Board of Selectmen went into executive session to discuss the strategies for selecting one of the four companies. The executive session was also called because personnel matters were being discussed — which was the hiring of a firm to do the voter-required property revaluation.

Selectmen agreed it was difficult to compare the quartet of proposals because each company offered different services.

“The proposals are not of a similar nature. It’s like apples and grapefruit,” Town Manager Dave Morton said.

“I know I wasn’t the only one who was confused,” said Chairman Barbara York.

York described trying to chart what each company was offering; and being unable to put the next company’s service in a category she had already established. This made it hard to compare prices on the bids, she said.

It seems like “there were some figures that were missing,” commented Selectman Mary-Vienessa Fernandes.

Fernandes agreed the “comparing apples and oranges” analogy applied to reviewing the various details of the proposals.

As recommended by the town manager, York advocated for an executive session to be held that evening.

“I think the board should plan to go into executive session. For us to discuss that, we should go into executive session,” York said.

In late February, the town had sent referrals of proposals (RFPs) to seven selected companies; and an eighth one had requested an RFP. The proposals were due on March 15.

The four companies that supplied the town with proposals are: Vision Government, J.F. Ryan Inc., KRT Proposal, and John E. O’Donnell & Associates.

Also, Morton said, “I suggest the board’s interviews of the candidates should be a public process.”

People would not participate, but would be able to sit in on those interviews; and the interviews would be publicized ahead of time, he said.

During November 2011 elections, residents backed a citizens-driven ballot measure requiring the town to conduct a property revaluation. According to the ballot the cost of reassessing town-wide properties is capped at $294,000; and a portion of the Undesignated Fund Balance will be used.

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