Election 2017

Election 2017: Southold Town Assessor candidates

Southold Town Assessor
Four-year term, two open seats
Salary: $76,707

Damon Peter Rallis

Occupation: Civil servant, Southold Town building department

Hamlet: Southold

Party lines: Democratic

About him: Mr. Rallis, 43, is a North Fork native and a 16-year employee of Southold Town. He lives in Southold with his wife, Joanna, and their two sons, Luca, 13, and Destin, 9. He is a Boy Scout Leader for Pack 51 and Troop 51 and a member of Peconic Lodge No. 349 of Free & Accepted Masons.

His pitch: Mr. Rallis said that as code enforcement officer and building plans examiner in the town building department he is the “only candidate who not only meets but exceeds the qualifications necessary to successfully perform the duties of Assessor and will be ready to hit the ground running on day one.” He said he is running with no special interests and no conflicts of interest. He points to his experience and “a verifiable record of a fair and balanced approach” to work with the people of Southold and enhance the Board of Assessors.

In his words: “A vote for me ensures success and stability in the Assessor’s office during this time of transition. I have always been there for the people of Southold and will continue to be if elected. I am proud to be endorsed by the LI Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, based on my commitment to the working families of Southold.”

Kevin Webster

Occupation: Southold Town Assessor

Hamlet: East Marion

Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About him: Mr. Webster, 47, is in his 12th year as a member of the town’s Board of Assessors and currently serves as its chairman. He is a NYS certified assessor with more than 25 years’ experience in the appraisal and assessment industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Ithaca College and is a former licensed NYS real estate salesperson and, since 2001, licensed NYS residential appraiser. He is also a state-licensed Notary and belongs to the NYS Assessors’ Association and Suffolk County Assessors’ Association.

His pitch: After graduating from Ithaca College, Mr. Webster moved back to Orient and started working in the fall of 1992 in the assessment, appraisal and real estate field.  He said it was a natural fit for him based on his education and knowledge of the area. The town assessors’ job is administrative, he said. They keep the inventory of more than 18,000 parcels up to date based on changes either through additions to the property or demolitions. In the position, he’s handled changes in ownership, processing new and recurring STAR, firefighter, veterans and agricultural property tax exemptions. Assessors process the town assessment roll, which is used to compute the tax rates that are then applied to a bill for your school, library and fire district taxes, for example.

In his words: “When I was asked to run for my current position in 2005 it seemed like a natural fit based on my 13 years’ experience in this field.”

Charles J. Sanders

Occupation: Town Trustee, associate broker at Town & Country Realty; captain, 42nd Infantry Division, New York Army National Guard

Hamlet: Greenport

Party lines: Republican, Conservative, Independence

About him: Mr. Sanders, 49, has a bachelor’s degree from Taylor University, a Master of Arts degree from Stony Brook University and a Master of Arts degree in history from Norwich University.  He earned his real estate salesperson license in 1999 and his broker’s license in 2005. He has evaluated and sold properties from Laurel to Orient. He was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and 2012 and to  Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2015.

His pitch: The job of assessor is a local government official who estimates the value of real property, Mr. Sanders said. He said he has estimated the value of real property from Laurel to Orient and has translated these estimates into concrete sales throughout the town. He also said he has extensive experience examining building plans and surveys as a Town Trustee for the past four years. “I have exceptional organizational skills as a result of over 18 years serving in the military,” he said.

In his words: “I look forward to hanging up my hat as a real estate professional while shifting these diverse skill-sets to the job of your next Southold Town Assessor. I ask for your vote this Nov. 7.”