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New assessor vows to help taxpayers

After the Lancaster Town Board voted unanimously Monday night to appoint Dave Marrano as assessor, he passed out a mission statement with a promise to teach people how to challenge their assessments and an assurance that he was but a second cousin to a local developer with the same name.

"I can't change my last name, but I'm here to do a fine job," Marrano said, explaining he had been taking the required classes for the past year.

"I had a sincere interest in getting into public service."

As a former market analyst helping sales people sell bleach, orange juice and other grocery goods to such stores as Wegmans, he said he intends to apply business principles to his new job.

The mission statement outlines seven objectives, including "superior customer service," free seminars on how to challenge assessments and publicizing exemption deadlines.

"We must serve the taxpayers who support us," said Marrano, a Lancaster resident. Christine Fusco, the current assessor, will leave to take a position in Clarence.

In other matters, the board:

*Unanimously approved the $26.4 million town budget that would increase spending by 4.6 percent from last year, give municipal employees 3 percent raises and increase some property taxes by nearly 3 percent. A public hearing at the beginning of the month drew scant comment from residents.

*Agreed to begin spending the $1.3 million in grant money that will fund a six-mile Heritage Trail for biking and running. It will start at Como Park, go along town and village streets and to a former railroad bed to connect to Alden, which also plans a trail, said Terry McCraken, general crew chief for the Parks and Recreation Department. The final design is being worked out.

*Discussed asking the police to make recommendations about how to deal with residents' complaints about high school students parking on Shadyside Lane.


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