Candidates for Chicopee Assessor discuss qualifications
CHICOPEE – Less than three months before the annual municipal elections, two residents submitted nominations for the two three-year open seats on Chicopee’s board of directors.
Current assessors Laura McCarthy and Brian William Suchy are running for election on November 2.
Recall publication contacted both candidates, asking for a self-written introduction to present to the city. As the election approaches, Reminder Publishing will conduct a question-and-answer interview with each candidate to discuss specific city issues and their perspectives on each issue.
I have been honored to be your appraiser in the city of Chicopee for over 23 years. I graduated from Chicopee Comprehensive High School and received a BA from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and a law degree from the New England School of Law. I practiced law in Chicopee for over ten years and served on many city boards and committees. I am currently a member of the Chicopee Saint-Patrick’s Day parade committee, the Chicopee democratic committee and a parishioner in Sainte-Anne. I am a widow with a wonderful son who recently graduated from Chicopee Comprehensive High School with a Culinary Arts Certificate and will be attending the Culinary Arts Program at Holyoke Community College in the fall. My parents are Regina Sullivan and the late James McCarthy.
Most people are unaware of the many roles and responsibilities of an assessor. Our work requires the accurate collection of real estate and personal property data, the measurement and valuation of new residential and commercial properties, the management of motor vehicle excise tax invoices as well as the promotion and implementation tax assistance programs that can help veterans and some people over 65.
Assessors are an important part of the city’s financial team and play a vital role in promoting effective city tax management. By accurately valuing 875 corporate personal property accounts and over 18,000 real estate plots to market standards and methodically calculating new growth, appraisers help maximize the resources available to fund municipal services. We also prepare the documents and analysis for the city council to define the tax transfer and work with the auditor to define the tax rate according to the laws and regulations of the Ministry of Revenue.
During my tenure as an assessor, I analyzed court cases and evolving state laws to implement various assessment methods for cell phone companies, gas companies and solar farms. I have determined values and tax estimates for the tax increase financing agreements that attract development in our city, and I have encouraged the implementation of the Geographic Information System mapping system which is currently on the city’s website. I was also involved in the initial implementation of the TAX ADE program for disabled and elderly homeowners and the Senior Work Off program.
I have been a Massachusetts Accredited Evaluator since 2002. I continually attend classes to maintain my certification and make sure I am up to date on the latest trends in valuation, valuation techniques, court cases and changing state laws.
I like being an appraiser because the work uses my legal and communication skills on a daily basis. I particularly enjoy helping our senior residents with exemption requests and speaking directly with taxpayers to help them understand tax laws, what they are taxed on and where taxpayer money is going. I humbly ask for your vote on November 2.
Brian William Suchy
My name is Brian W. Suchy and I am seeking a 5th term as one of your evaluators from the city of Chicopee. I am married to Joyce Londravillesuchy, a retired educator over 31 years of age in the Chicopee school system. We have a daughter, Carolyn, a graduate of Chicopee High and Springfield College, and currently working for the Department of Defense and serving in the United States Air Force as a reservist. I am extremely proud of her and those who serve in the military.
As a longtime Chicopee resident, I graduated from Chicopee High School, moved on to Thompson Academy for graduate studies, and then to AIC where I obtained a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a minor in accounting. I worked for General Motors Acceptance Corporation in the finance department for over 18 years. I also have extensive management experience working for Pioneer Management Systems / Woodbrook Insurance Agency as a Health Insurance Administrator for over 30 years.
Eight years ago, the opportunity arose to serve on the Chicopee Review Council. It has been an honor to serve you as an evaluator. I continue to attend conferences and educational workshops in order to deepen my knowledge and have successfully completed what is required to be a certified appraiser by the Ministry of Revenue. I mention this because it is extremely important to attend these courses and workshops as the requirements of DOR become more and more complex.
My parents were great teachers, they taught me to work hard and do the right thing. As an assessor, what is needed are fair and equitable taxes for residential and business taxpayers. It is very gratifying to help our seniors, our veterans, the blind and surviving spouses get the real estate exemptions they deserve. With an excellent office staff assisting the assessors, we are constantly working on programs that are beneficial to Chicopee residents in need of assistance.
Right now, as one of your current evaluators, I’m asking for your vote on Election Day November 2. Again, my name is Brian W. Suchy, I will be number two on the ballot, and thank you for your support.