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Council to hire part-time assessor; Tonawanda post vacant since June

Because the Assessor's Office in the City of Tonawanda has had a vacancy since June, the Common Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to hire David Unmack to handle those duties on a part-time basis.

Unmack will make $60 an hour and is expected to work about 10 hours a week, which would translate to approximately $31,200 without benefits for a year. However, Mayor Ronald Pilozzi said the new arrangement is not going to be the long-term solution for the Assessor's Office.

"[This] is going to get us to the end of the year, and then we'll reassess our position," he said.

The city is talking with other municipalities about sharing assessment services, and while there have been "positive" discussions with one, no final agreement has been reached. Several candidates also applied for the open assessor position in Tonawanda, but the city's preferred candidate withdrew his name for the job.

Unmack comes to the job with more than 34 years' experience as an assessor, including a 27-year position with the Town of Tonawanda. Unmack replaces Patricia Bacon, who retired in June and made $53,287 a year.

In other action, the Council authorized a professional independent audit request of Time Warner Cable for the services it provides to the city. The move follows the Council's tabling a new 10-year contract two weeks ago after questions arose about the deal.

The city's former agreement with Time Warner, which expired in 2007, calls for Tonawanda to receive 5 percent of gross revenue, which translates to about $180,000 to $190,000 a year for the city. Tonawanda last audited Time Warner in 2006.

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