Office of the Governor-Elect
144 State St.
Montpelier, VT 05633-8000
November 18, 2016
Dear Governor Scott,
I am writing you today in support of Douglas Farnham remaining in the position of Director of Property Valuation and Review. I am offering this letter of support both personally, as the President of the Vermont Assessors & Listers Association (VALA), and at the direction of the entire VALA organization. The VALA organization is committed to executing fair and equitable property valuation while simultaneously monitoring statutes and their effect on property taxes.
The significance of the position of Director of Property Valuation and Review cannot be understated and is critical to the fair and equitable taxation of the people and economy of Vermont.
Douglas Farnham has worked as Director of Property Valuation and Review (PVR) since his appointment in June of last year. Over that period, I have worked closely with him with regards to the valuation practices of Municipal Listers and Assessors throughout the State of Vermont.
VALA’s interaction with Douglas has been very positive. Douglas exhibits many management and problem solving skills and has consistently worked to improve all aspects of PVR. He has made an extraordinary effort to educate himself about assessment methodology and has grasped the valuation process and corresponding statutes with ease. Douglas has sought to improve on the Grand List software with regards to new statutes as well as streamline the Property Transfer Tax Return process for efficiency. Douglas’s ability to embrace, and willingness to implement, technology to advance assessment and taxation practices statewide is readily accepted.
Lister and Assessor interaction with PVR is initiated at the District Advisor level. Douglas has reinstituted the practice of allowing District Advisors to attend the bi-monthly VALA meetings. His recognition of the value of allowing Listers and Assessors to interact with District Advisors on a personal and face to face level has been noticed and appreciated.
Lastly, Douglas’s ability to not only listen but to hear what people are saying is quality which cannot be ignored.
In closing I reiterate that both myself and the entire VALA organization support Douglas Farnham remaining in his current position as Director of Property Valuation and Review for the State of Vermont.
The assessment officials of the state look forward to working with you and your staff as we all move forward with your administration.
R Todd LeBlanc
Vermont Assessors & Listers Association – President