Valley Viewpoints: Oswego assessor

by George Clark of Oswego

When is the City of Oswego assessor’s position up for re-appointment?

The Oswego City Charter, Article XVI, Department of Assessment, section C16-00 (Amended 7-9-2007 by L.L. No. 6-2007) states: “The Mayor of the city shall appoint a single Assessor to a six-year term of office commencing October 1, 1978, as provided by section 310 and 328 of the Real Property Tax Law. The Assessor must meet the minimum qualification standards established by the New York state Board of Real Property Services.”

Oct. 1, 1978 to Oct. 1, 2008 would encompass five full terms of appointment. The appointing authority for the City of Oswego in 2008 was Mayor Randolph Bateman.

Aug. 3, 2011, under the Freedom of Information Act, I applied to the city’s Records Access Officer for the “Civil Service appointment document, signed by  appointing authority, for current City Assessor.”  This was approved Aug. 3, 2011 and a Report of Personnel Change was provided.

The RPC indicated that Susan E. Gallagher Deary held the position of assessor and a permanent appoint was made by the appointing officer John J. Gosek, Mayor, effective July 12, 2004.

Oct. 4, 2011, I submitted a FOIL to the city for the “Civil Service appointment document, signed by current appointing authority, for City Assessor.”  This was denied for the following reason: “Record does not exist.”

Therefore, according to City records, the only appointment made for Susan E. Gallagher Deary was by Mayor John J. Gosek in 2004.

The City of Oswego Assessor has held a six-year term of office for eight years leaving the possibility of two explanations: a change in the law governing this position or another Mayor Bateman sleight of hand.

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