Cape hires Brunswick man to fill assessor vacancy

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 CAPE ELIZABETH — A Brunswick town employee will head south for a new job, south to Cape Elizabeth, that is.

Clinton Swett, now assistant assessor in Brunswick, was named tax assessor of Cape Elizabeth on Monday night.

Swett will begin his new job May 15, at an annual salary of $70,000.

Town Councilors went into executive session at the end of a May 1 meeting to discuss the appointment of the town’s next assessor. A May 2 town website posting announced Swett’s hiring.

Swett’s duties will be full time and not shared with another municipality.

Swett takes over assessment duties from Town Manager Matt Sturgis, who formerly held the assessor’s post. Sturgis split his assessment duties between the municipalities of Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough.

That practice now ends.

At an April 19 meeting of the Scarborough Town Council, Town Manager Thomas Hall mentioned the need for the town to hire its own assessor, not only because of Sturgis giving up two-town assessor duties for Sturgis’ new management role, but also because of Scarborough’s economic and residential growth.

Swett graduated from Portland High School and earned a degree in business administration organizational leadership from Southern New Hampshire University. He’s worked as Brunswick assistant assessor since 2010, after holding the same position in Freeport since 2002. He received certification as a Maine assessor in 2005.

Prior to those posts, he worked in computer operations in Ohio in 1983 and later, in Augusta, as a computer operator for Central Maine Power.

Lisa D. Connell can be reached at 781-3661, ext. 183 or lconnell@theforecaster.net. Follow Lisa on Twitter: @connell_ld.

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  • Mainer1

    Maybe he can do something about the high taxes in Cape

    • Mosa

      Taxes aren’t really that high in Cape Elizabeth. Very comparable with other nearby towns like Scarborough and Falmouth, less than Cumberland and Yarmouth. And you must remember, Cape Elizabeth must rely almost entirely on residential tax payers to fund its infrastructure. That’s how your roads get paved and plowed, how the schools and library​ run, police department, etc. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. If you want to have good schools, and a quiet town free from major commercial development to help foot the bill, then all must. Taxes aren’t that high really, and they just reflect market value of the property. Like everything else, you get what you pay for…. When the revaluation occurs, there is likely to be a significant increase. The assessor doesn’t set the tax rate.

      • Mainer1

        Cape taxes are highest in the state. Not even close to neighboring towns. Can’t just look at the mill rate Mosa. The town forced us to build the great big police Station, now it sits empty. The town forced us to build a new library, now it is empty except seniors getting free wifi, the pool is a financial drag, school budget is a joke with all liberals voting to spend, spend with no accountability or higher test scores. 25% less kids in the system and budget up 300% since 2000. If I got something for my money that would be different, they are just padding the pensions. No services, can’t even plow or sand the roads correctly. Commercial development is not viable in town. Highest taxes in the state. if you do not have kids in the school system, why would you live here and pay the taxes?

        • Mosa

          Yes, I agree about the pool. It is really not available to the community to use. It is often closed, and only has lap swimming during working hours. It is rented to other schools and swim team clubs for revenue to help support, but I think it should be open over the summer and on weekends for family swim. I think it is ludicrous that Cape Elizabeth doesn’t even have basic services like trash pickup. I think that there probably should be an admission charge for non-residents to Ft. Williams Park. That is a lot to maintain and is used a ton by out-of-towners and visitors who contribute nothing to it. I disagree about the library though. It has some good programming and the study rooms are used by high school students in groups and for tutoring etc. The children’s department is quite good in design, collection, and programming for a town of this size.

          • Mosa

            Biddeford, Brunswick, Cumberland, Durham, Gray, North Yarmouth, Portland, Saco, South Portland, Westbrook, and Yarmouth all have higher tax rates than Cape Elizabeth. I have no idea where you got the notion that Cape Elizabeth had the highest taxes in the state, except maybe folklore. The fact is Cape Elizabeth is in the bottom half of municipalities for tax rates in Cumberland county.

        • Mosa

          I am sure many would say they live there because it is home, is fairly convenient, and it has some natural beauty. Can you tell me where you got the data about 25 % fewer students in the system since 2000? With the overall growth of the greater Portland area, and new individual houses and developments, I am incredulous. I think mostly anyone who moves to town does so for the schools. Perhaps there was a period of lower birthrate? That is changing.

      • Mosa
    • Chew H Bird

      Just look at the tax rate in Brunswick… Head and shoulders higher than other towns…