Robert Greeley, the longtime former assessments director for the town, was unanimously voted on Tuesday, July 1, to a seat on the Board of Assessors. Serving until the next town election, he is filling the unexpired term of Jim Doherty, who resigned in May.
The candidates for the seat who appeared at Town Hall for the vote were:
-- Robert Greeley, brother of Selectman Kevin Greeley and director of assessments for the town for 24 years until he retired in April 2011:
-- Patrick J. Quinn, who owns the Quinn Group Insurance Agency;
-- Joseph Bastardi, who said he was a former Town Meeting member; and
-- Michael Stern, publisher of information about venture capital and the private-equity industry.
A fifth candidate, Stephen P. Reynolds, an attorney who works as a real-estate appraiser, was not present.
Four selectmen and two members of the Board of Assessors were present. Kevin Greeley, Bob's brother, was not present.
The 20-minute joint meeting got underway at 7:10 p.m. with guidance from Town Counsel Doug Heim, based on Chapter 41 of Mass. General Laws and past practice.
Each of the four candidates present was asked to offer statements about their candidacy, to last no longer than three minutes.
All did. Bastardi spoke briefly. Greeley cited his long record with the town as assessments director as well as his 15 years on the Somerville Board of Assessors. Quinn, who owns an Arlington insurance agency, emphasized his business experience.
Stern called Greeley the most qualified candidate but asked the boards to "go in a different direction" and consider "new ideas." Stern has compiled a study showing dramatic swings in land valuations in town. He said he thought the board could "apply due diligence" to its vendor, Patriot Properties.
In the first round of voting, Board of Assessors Chairman Kevin Feeley nominated Greeley. Selectman Dan Dunn seconded. The vote for Greeley was 6-0.
In the second round, Selectman Joseph Curro Jr. nominated Stern, and Dunn seconded. The vote for Stern was 6-0.
In a roll-call vote to see which of the two would win, the vote was 5-1 for Greeley, with Curro voting for Stern.
The final roll call was 6-0 for Greeley.
Now with three members, the Board of Assessors plans to decide among 14 candidates for the full-time assessment director position. A clearer picture about who the finalists are is expected Thursday.
Because of a reporting error, YourArlington previously said a total of seven candidates had applied for the Board of Assessors. The total number was five, the selectmen's office has confirmed. YourArlington regrets this error of fact.
June 11: Background behind assessor openings
This story was published Tuesday, July 1, 2014, and updated the next day.