Contract phases in Naugatuck’s next assessor

NAUGATUCK — Borough officials and Wallingford Assessor Shelby Jackson have reached an agreement for Jackson to take on the same role in Naugatuck, but not until 2021.

The borough and Jackson signed a six-year contract, which runs through June 30, 2025, in late July that makes Jackson part-time deputy assessor for two years before he becomes the full-time assessor. The contract stipulates that Jackson will work a minimum of six hours per week through June 30, 2020, and a minimum 10 hours per week from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. He will become the full-time assessor on July 1, 2021, the contract states.

Jackson works full time as the assessor in Wallingford, a position he’s held since 1999, according to his resume. He started in his part-time role in Naugatuck Aug. 5. The arrangement has been approved by Wallingford officials, according to the contract.

Jackson will eventually replace Assessor Carol Ann Tyler. Tyler’s contract expires in January 2020, and she has expressed a desire to cut back on her hours in anticipation of retiring in 2021. The arrangement with Jackson allows the borough to lock in someone Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess described as an “elite assessor” for the long term, while also securing help for the short term.

“He (Jackson) is a highly regarded assessor on a statewide level,” Hess said.

Jackson served in the U.S. Navy before starting his own real estate brokerage practice in the mid-1980s, his resume states. He worked as a tax collector in Mapleville, R.I., and assessor in Burrillville, R.I., before taking the job in Wallingford. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and finance from Providence College, and holds numerous professional certifications.

Jackson will make a part-time base salary of $17,250 this fiscal year and a part-time base salary of $32,000 next fiscal year, according to his contract. His salary will be $115,000 when he becomes the full-time assessor in 2021, and it will be reviewed in each of the subsequent years of the contract.

Jackson will be eligible for benefits when he becomes the assessor, including a high deductible health plan with a $2,000/$4,000 deductible and the option to participate in the borough’s defined contribution pension plan.

Jackson’s job early on will be to focus on resolving assessment appeals that resulted from the recent property revaluation. He is certified as a general real estate appraiser in the state. Jackson said these appeals can be complex and he’s wants to resolve them before they go to the next level, which is court.

“The goal is to save the borough as much money as we possibly can,” Jackson said.

Jackson said he will also get acquainted with borough residents and officials to ensure a smooth transition when Tyler retires.

Tyler said she’s thrilled the borough hired Jackson. The two know each other from working with the Society of Professional Assessors, a nonprofit educational organization for the assessment profession. Tyler is the organization’s treasurer and Jackson is the executive director.

“I don’t think we can do better,” Tyler said.

Tyler said Jackson is the right person to continue the improvements made in the department during her tenure.

Tyler was hired in January 2016, a few months after former Assessor George Hlavacek resigned amid concerns from officials on how he was running the department.

Hess said Tyler came into a very difficult situation and has done a great job in improving all aspects of the department.

“We look at him (Jackson) as an elite replacement for her, and she (Tyler) completely agrees,” Hess said.