One of the puzzles about the job of town assessor is why the post is an elected one. It is highly specialized and requires considerable breadth of knowledge and extensive training. It would, on review, seem logical to shift it to Civil Service status, with career professionals taking over. In fact, according to the Department of State, only about 12 percent of municipalities in the state continue to have three-member boards of assessors, as in the Town of East Hampton.
The advantages of opting for a single appointed assessor are many — and convincing. But this is a question for another day; voters are to decide on Tuesday whether to keep the three-term incumbent, Eugene DePasquale, in the role or hand it to his challenger, Joe Bloecker.
Mr. DePasquale makes a good case for himself both in pointing to his training and certification as well as his willingness to help taxpayers understand what is involved in assessing properties and even how to go about seeking adjustments through the grievance process.
Mr. Bloecker presents himself as a builder with considerable background in the trades, his three terms as a town trustee, and extensive community ties such as, among other things, the Montauk Friends of Erin, as arguments for his candidacy. Like Mr. DePasquale, he has real estate sales experience.
As much as we like Mr. Bloecker and value his contribution to East Hampton Town in ways large and small, Mr. DePasquale gains our endorsement by dint of his job-specific qualifications.