[Editor's note: The following is a statement from Board of Assessors candidate Robert Quinn. It has been republished without editing.]
To the Citizens of Reading:
My name is Bob Quinn and I am running for a seat on Reading’s Board of Assessors.
Last spring, the Selectman sponsored Article 22 which sought to amend our Home Rule Charter by recasting the Board of Assessors as an appointed body. Town Meeting overwhelmingly rejected this Article, opting instead to preserve the independence of the Board of Assessors through the continued direct election of its membership.
However, the proponents of Article 22 did raise a legitimate concern that the time and expense inherent in the election process may discourage otherwise qualified individuals from serving on the Board of Assessors. They rightly noted the highly technical nature of the Board’s work and also pointed to a number of past vacancies in support of their argument.
I have decided to respond this challenge by throwing my hat into the ring. I believe that my professional background and training uniquely qualify me to serve on Reading’s Board of Assessors.
Now, let me briefly introduce myself.
My wife Mary Ann and I have made Reading our home for the last 30 years. Our two children were born and raised here. I’ve participated in the community as a band parent and youth hockey coach; I am currently a member of Town Meeting. I am not affiliated with any political party.
I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Merrimack College and a Master’s Degree in Taxation from Bentley College. I also hold a Massachusetts real estate license.
I am a former CPA with over 30 years’ experience in the fields of taxation, financial accounting and auditing. I have served as the Tax Director of a multi-national corporation and as an advisor to small and mid-sized businesses.
However, the role that I always found most personally satisfying was that of taxpayer’s advocate. I often represented taxpayers large and small before the IRS, state and other taxing authorities throughout my financial career.
For the last 4 years, I have been an active participant in the local residential real estate scene, as a hands-on investor and buyer’s agent. During that time, I have researched and inspected dozens of houses, including those that I bought and sold for my own account.
The Board of Assessors does not set the tax rate or make fiscal policy; ultimately, Town Meeting does. Boiled down, the Board’s mission is to FAIRLY apportion the total tax burden among all property owners in conformity with the applicable state laws. Carefully considering and acting upon abatement applications is just one of the Board’s duties.
I believe that my financial background and first hand real estate experience would make me a very effective member of the Board.
If you agree, please honor me with your vote on March 6th.
Robert J. Quinn
Candidate for Reading Board of Assessors