Leverett assessor retires after 36 years of service
LEVERETT — Calling his 36 years of service to the town “a good long run,” Donald Robinson said he will step down from his post as assessor this year.
“The board is in great shape,” Robinson told the Select Board last week. “We have two other great assessors, and an excellent administrative assessor.”
Robinson, who has been chairman of the Board of Assessors since 1977, began his service to the town in 1976, when he was nominated for a one-year term on the Select Board by his father-in-law, Cliff LaClaire.
When his term ended, he switched to the Board of Assessors after its chairman, Chester Woodard, died. Neither of the other assessors at that time wanted to head the board, so Robinson took the job and has held it ever since.
“It is very rewarding,” he said. “The cash flow of the town is dependent on the assessors’ work.”
The board — its other members are Catherine Ford and James Hicks — meets twice a month and does field work on weekends. It assesses the values of town properties, maintains property record cards, and performs field inspections on new construction, renovations and recent sales.
Robinson, who is married to Sara LaClaire and has three children, said the position took away family time in the early days but has become less of a commitment. Much of the field work is done now by the administrative assessor, Stephen Schmidt.
Robinson is also the director of the Department of Environmental Health and Safety and an adjunct professor in the Public Health Department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
A new assessor will be chosen at the annual Town Meeting in April.