NORWAY — Town Manager David Holt told selectmen Thursday night that he has received calls and applications from individuals interested in the assessor’s position.

Early in October, assessor Phinn Walker announced he would leave his position in the near future. Holt said Walker agreed to stay while the town seeks a replacement.

Holt said he advertised Walker’s position on the Maine Municipal Association website and within the past couple of weeks he had received some calls and a few applications.

He said he “had the liberty of speaking with the town managers in Paris and Oxford” and raised the question of “whether we would want to share an assessor in the future.” While both towns have assessors, their assessors seem to be at stages in their lives where they may only do those towns for another year or two.

“It’s not my job to say how long they’ll be there,” he said. “It could be longer, it could be less. However, they’ll be doing something else in the foreseeable future.”

Holt said that inviting people from Paris and Oxford to sit in on any interviews could be beneficial, even if the towns end up not sharing an assessor.

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“I don’t ask the question with any opinion on whether it’s a good idea or not,” he said. “I just think it’s something good to keep in mind.”

Selectman Warren Sessions Jr. asked Holt whether Walker was a full-time employee of the town.

Holt said Walker worked 28 hours per week.

“One thing that Phinn suggested to us is that maybe the Norway assessor position should be a full-time, 40-hours-a-week position, with the condition that all properties (in Norway) are visited once every four years, as law requires,” Holt said. “That is a law, and it’s a law that we haven’t been in compliance with for a long, long time.”

Selectman Thomas Curtis asked Holt if the town wasn’t in compliance with the law because of the 28-hour week.

Holt said the assessor position was cut to 28 hours per week to save money and the limited number of hours has an impact on how many properties the assessor can visit every year.

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“If an assessor were to work 40 hours a week, would we be able to meet 100 percent compliance,” Curtis said.

Chairman Russell Newcomb asked Holt if he would ask the applicants about the possibility of working 40 hours per week.

“I think you should leave the door open so that the possibility is out there,” Holt said. “You guys might decide to hire a company or a consultant, or maybe you’ll find someone like Phinn who wants to be a Norway assessor only, and we continue to do what we’ve done the last few decades.”

“Some of these applicants will want to be consultants, and others are younger and will want us to hire them while they get their certification,” he said. “At this point, I wouldn’t shut anybody out.”

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