The town also appointed and promoted Patrick F. Farry, of the Rotterdam Police Department, to the position of investigator. The position comes with full employee benefits and an annual salary of $65,599.
Town settles with former assessor
The four board members in attendance all agreed to execute a termination agreement with John Macejka Jr., which pays the former town assessor for accumulated vacation leave in exchange for an agreement that he will not to bring litigation against the town in the future.
The town will pay Macejka approximately $8,000 cash for 259 vacation hours he racked up while employed as Rotterdam's assessor between July 2003 and December 2007. Tommasone said the $8,000 payout is approximately $1,500 more than what Macejka would have received under the terms of Rotterdam's CSEA contract.
As part of the agreement, Macejka absolves the town of all legal liability to him during his term as assessor. Tommasone said the board had been advised by town attorneys to pursue this course of action in order to avoid costly legal fees.
"We wouldn't have settled for anything, but we live in a litigious society," said Tommasone. "The agreement puts the town on the offensive instead of the defensive."
Tommasone also said that Craig Surprise, the new town assessor, was still working on aspects of the property revaluation project begun by Macejka last year.
In December, Tommasone appointed Surprise, a former Columbia County assessor, to a six-year term, effectively replacing Macejka. Tommasone said he appointed Surprise because the town needed to move in a new direction.
Other board members concurred that the agreement with Macejka was necessary.
"As an attorney I can appreciate litigation costs," said Mertz. "We're paying a small amount, all things considered.""