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New director of assessments began work Oct. 14

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Paul TierneyPaul Tierney

UPDATED, Oct. 21: The second attempt to fill the full-time head-of-assessments position was successful, as Paul Tierney has accepted the Board of Assessors' recommendation to hire Winthrop's deputy assessor.

The board voted, 2-0, to approve Tierney as director of assessing. The annual salary of $91,384 and benefit package were approved on Monday, Sept. 22.

Tierney began his appointment Oct. 14, the Board of Assessors said in an Oct. 21 news release.

Reporting to the assessors, the director oversees and manages the assessors' office and works with the board to determine the value of all real and personal property in town.

"Mr. Tierney brings a wealth of experience," said Kevin Feeley, chair of Board of Assessors. "I look forward to working with him and I am pleased he accepted the appointment."

Members of the selection team included Feeley, Town Treasurer/Collector Stephen Gilligan, Deputy Town Manager, Andrew Flanagan and Human Resources Director Caryn Malloy.

Board member Robert Greeley was unable to attend the September meeting because of a dental emergency. 

Tierney was recommended in a 3-0 vote on Sept. 17 after the board interviewed three finalists, culled from six candidates. They were Drew Manlove, assistant assessor, Worcester; Thomas J. Berube, chairman, Board of Assessors, Georgetown, and Tierney.

Tierney offers "exactly what we're seeking," board member Mary Winstanley O'Connor said.

After saying that he was "stunned" by what Drew Manlove, assistant assessor in Worcester, has done on his own, board member Bob Greeley agreed with O'Connor about Tierney. So did and then board Chairman Kevin Feeley.

The town's human resources department gave candidates an assessor test, and only Tierney scored 100 percent.

Start as soon as possible

Interviews of the three made clear that board members want to get a new assessments chief on board as soon as possible. With the position empty since mid-April, the department faces a tight schedule to assess all of Arlington's 16,000 properties before a new tax rate is set in December.

Greeley said that, even with a new head, the department would need to help to complete the job on time.

In addition, he said, the town will be outsourcing its printing, which is expected to require information to be done by late November instead of early December. Further, new head will be involved in overseeing the training of a data collector.

If Tierney accepts the offer, his pay and benefits remain to be negotiated.

Discussion indicated that the board would like the new head to start as close to Oct. 1 as possible.

Asked about his availability, Tierney said he was looking at mid-October to Nov. 1, because he does not "want to leave Winthrop high and dry." He said he was willing to be flexible.

During discussion of the finalists, Greeley praised Tierney's comment as reflecting a responsible attitude. While Tierney's title in Winthrop is deputy director, he said he was in charge of the small office there.

Comparison of locations

If Tierney accepts the offer, he will be leaving a town that had 27 abatement requests last year, 51 the year before and 270 in 2011. Arlington had 120 to 150 last year. Under an abatement request, a resident or company seeks to have an assessment reviewed.

Greeley noted that the new head would arrive in Arlington during a time of expansion of home values, saying that sellers asking $430,000 for homes were getting buyers willing to pay $560,000. He called the number of million-dollar homes here "mind-boggling."

By comparison, Manlove said Worcester, a city of 200,000 residents, has 45,000 parcels and had 500 abatement requests last year, of which handled 150. Georgetown has 3,300 parcels, Berube said, and 30 to 50 abatements, mostly commercial.

As chairman of the Board of Assessors, Berube said he functions as the department head.

In July, when three finalists were interviewed, residents Mark Kaepplein and Stephen Harrington recorded the meeting. They were not present Sept. 17.

Caryn Cove, head of human resources, reported the names of the three finalists to YourArlington after the website made a request Sept. 10.

As to whom the finalists are, she wrote Sept. 15: "I plan to redact the resumes tomorrow [Tuesday]. Once I have forwarded them to the Board of Assessors, I will be sure to give them to you."

The three resumes are shown below.

Asked about names earlier, Cove wrote: "We are giving candidates the courtesy of time to notify their current employers that they are a finalist here in Arlington before we release any names."

The Advocate reported Sept. 15 that the town announced the names. The town website showed no announcement since that date.

The top assessing position has been vacant since former assessor John Speidel resigned in mid-April.

Sept. 3: 6 vie for elusive town head-of-assessments position

Originally, six candidates sought the job that Arlington thought it filled in July, only to learn last month that the top candidate had backed out.

The same screening committee that led to choosing three finalists for a full-time head of assessments followed by a job offer to James F. Doherty of Arlington met Wednesday, Sept. 3, to review resumes of the eight applicants, and six were chosen.

Meanwhile, the state's supervisor of records has concluded that the town properly blacked out sections of a separation agreement with John B. Speidel, the former head of assessments. Chris Loreti, a former member of the Redevelopment Board, had argued that the town should not have censored the agreement.

Further, Loreti this week emailed to the state Division of Open Government requests for them to intervene in two Open Meeting Law complaints against the Board of Assessors filed in June, saying responses he received from the board were unsatisfactory.

14 candidates in first round

The six candidates will be interviewed the week of Sept. 8, Molloy wrote.

Screening-committee members for all applicants are Kevin Feeley, chairman of the Board of Assessors; Steve Gilligan, the town treasurer; Andrew Flanagan, deputy town manager; and Molloy.

In the first round of interviews, in June, Feeley noted that five of 14 candidates were interviewed before deciding on three finalists.

Issues surrounding the assessors' office became public in June after Loreti sought then-unposted Board of Assessors' minutes an effort to learn more about why Speidel resigned in April.

In May, a little more than a month after Speidel left, Doherty quit the Board of Assessors, where he had served since 1993, without explanation. Later, he was named as one of three finalists for the position Speidel had held since 2011.

After the three were interviewed July 21, Doherty was offered the job. He turned it down in a letter dated Aug. 1, citing "personal reasons." He has not responded to requests for comment to be more specific. Doherty works in the Burlington assessors' office, where he is town appraiser/assistant assessor.

The advertised annual salary range for the position of head of assessments, as of July 1, was $78,870 to $113,972.

Resumes of 3 finalists


Massachusetts Association of Assessing Officers - M.A.A coursework complete & designation pending

State of Connecticut - Revaluation Certified- Residential & Land, Commercial & Industrial
Barth Advantage Institute - Accredited Green Appraiser
University of Delaware - College of Arts and Science 1997-2000


Assistant Assessor - September, 2012 to Present

Maintain real and personal property records and perform value and data review using Vision Cl\MA software, Geographic Information System, Pictometry, and other electronic and analog resources, as well as hands-on data collection techniques. Review abatement applications, meet with property owners and representatives, and make value recommendations to the Principal Assessor based on appraisal reports, comparative sales, property inspections, and other available information. Assist and educate taxpayers in the assessment process.

TYLER TECHNOLOGIES, CLT APPRAISAL SERVICES - Tolland, CT Residential Appraisal Reviewer - May, 2011to August, 2012

Commercial Appraisal Lister - March, 2009 to May, 2011
Residential Appraisal Lister - January, 2009 to March, 2009

Took part in most aspects of this national company's revaluation efforts in New England until deciding against a relocation to Virginia. Gained experience with a wide array of properties from rural locations to high-rise commercial properties and major manufacturing facilities ill jurisdictions throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Trained and supervised office staff and data collection teams. Managed the day-to-day operations of a major personal property revaluation in Providence, RL Performed quality control checks and value review. Conducted informal value reviews with taxpayers. Assisted project managers with valuation, data reconciliation, and public relations. Was commended for professionalism and effectiveness in communications, rated as "Exceptional" in performance evaluations.


MANLOVE COMMUNICATIONS - Wilmington, DE Owner/Operator - September, 2005 to December, 2008
Operated this profitable business focusing 011 the design and installation of satellite, telecommunications, and home/business entertainment s}'stems until relocated to New England in 2008. Surveyed residential and commercial properties, analyzed building/utilities specifications, and provided clients with detailed plans/diagrams for installation of low-voltage wiring systems. NST- Certified by the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association.


Assistant General Manager - February, 2001 [0 September, 200S
Front Office Manager - August, 2000 to February, 2001

Worked for three hotels in this regional chain until the company was sold: McIntosh Inns in Newark, DE and Wilmington, DE, and for the Marriott Courtyard in Wilmington, DE.
As Assistant GM of the Marriot Courtyard, was responsible for the day to day operations of 92-room hotel including sales, purchasing, maintenance, front and back office, and restaurant, managed a staff of 30 employees, including hiring/terminations, employee evaluations, training, commendations and disciplinary actions. Increased overall profit managing each consecutive year as Assistant GM.



SKILLS & ABILITIES Skilled in use of Microsoft Office, Excel and Word. Able to generate computer reports to assist in the statistical analysis of assessment values, land values and sales ratios. Familiar with both Patriot Properties and Vision CAMAsoftware and Softright financial software.


August 6, 2012 to present
Assists the Board of Assessor's in valuing all town property (Commercial, Industrial, Residential and Personal) for triennial DOR certification and interim year updates. Conducts physical field work such as inspections and measurements of properties to collect and verify property data necessary for determining full and fair value for all property types. Defend mass appraisal generated values through negotiation or via appearance at the Appellate Tax Board.
Assists in maintenance of records and preparation of various reports as required by Town and State officials, including new growth and parcel changes. Reviews all abatement applications, schedules inspections and makes recommendations to the Board of Assessors. Handles department related sensitive and/or confidential information in Town's CAMAsystem, including commercial properly income and expense data. Exercises good Independent judgment and builds efficiency into existing activities. Process motor vehicle and boat excise tax when needed.


August 2011 to April 2012
Worked part time on interim basis to assist with staffing issue of the Assessor's office. Performed building permit and abatement Inspections as needed. Provided coverage at the counter as needed to respond to taxpayer requests and performed other typical office duties as needed.


June 2011 to July 2012
The Assistant Director of Assessing is responsible to the Director of Assessing and assists him/her in implementing the statutory mission of a Massachusetts municipal assessing department. In the absence of the Director the Assistant Director would administer the work of the department staff as well as the other duties and responsibilities of the Director. Additional duties include preparing and implementing work plans, adjusting property values according to statutory procedure and periodic field work.


June 2008 to June 2011
Primary responsibility was to perform daily field work, including measure and list, permit inspections and abatement inspections. Tracked sales and performed inspections on new sales as well as mailing sales verification forms. Assisted the Director of Assessing and the Board of Assessors in all abatement inspections and made recommendations.


August 2007 to June 2008
Worked as a Real Estate Appraiser as a trainee. Performed inspections and measure and list under the direction of the owner. Organized meetings with property owners, property managers and other professionals as needed. Assisted with research for comparable properties for banks and other lending institutions.


February 1988 to June 2007
Performed various duties, including delivery of mail and parcels to residential homes and businesses. Communicated daily with various members of the public and worked in a variety of challenging conditions.


Performed cyclical data collections services and collected building permits.

Certificate of Computer Programming/Software Development


Everett High School

Mass. treal estate liceinse 11009522763




6/07 - Pres ...Member and chairman (8yrs) of the ejected Board of Assessors. Responsible for the budgeting, oversight, planning and implementation of all aspects of the data collection, listing, valuation, certification, and tax rate certification for all real and personal property including exemptions, abatements, potential liabilities and estimated receipts.
Defined, approved and supervised the implementation of cyclical property inspection, rate table adjustment, revaluation/recertification and financial review programs. Hire, fire and supervise office staff and outside contractors.


6/91- 6/94....Member and chairman of the elected Board of Selectmen. Responsible for the budgeting, oversight, planning and implementation for all aspects of the executive branch including personnel, finance, legal, administration and appointments to the Boards of Health, Zoning, Personnel, Conservation, Parks and Recreation, Building and Council on Aging.

6/88 - 6/91...Member and Chairman of the elected Board of Assessors. Responsible for the oversight, management and strategic planning of the assessing department including budgeting, personnel, contractor/consultant hiring, and the specification and implementation of the town's first Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal System.


1991- Pres ...Business and Technology Consultant. Responsible for the evaluation and review of existing business practices, technology and processes and the subsequent definition, recommendation and implementation of organizational, technological, application and policy improvements to achieve a higher degree of efficiency, profitability and/or regulatory  compliance. These projects typically included the formation and supervision of an implementation team and appropriate procedures to document and validate results within the real estate, legal, financial and insurance industries.


Massachusetts Accredited Assessor, RMA/CMA in process
DOR Certified in Assessment Administration, Law Procedure, Valuation, Classification.
MAAO Certified in - Principles of Assessing and Appellate Tax Board Procedures; Discovery, listing, Valuation and Mass Appraisal of Residential and non- Residential Real Property; Valuation of Income Producing Properties. MBREA Certified in Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Procedures.

Aug. 17 (opinion): Loreti to seek Town Meeting article targeting assessors' fiasco

Aug. 5, 2014: Town says it has turned uncensored agreement over to state

June 28, 2014: Secrecy alleged in director resignation

This story was published Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, and updated the next two days, as well as Sept. 23 and Oct. 21.

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