Jeffry Pine, Rensselaerville assessor candidate

Jeffry Pine

RENSSELAERVILLE — Two years after losing in the election for assessor, Jeffry Pine is running again, claiming properties affected by Tropical Storm Irene haven’t been properly assessed.

Pine, a Democrat with his party’s endorsement, was the town’s assessor from 1999 through 2011, when Republican Richard Tollner won the post. Pine worked as a contractor, renovating and custom-building houses, for most of his career. He has been New Scotland’s code-enforcement officer since 1998. He was the contractor for current assessor Michael Weber’s home.

Asked why he initially ran to be Rensselaerville’s assessor, Pine said, “Because I thought I could be good at it. I’ve always been interested in real estate. It’s kind of been a hobby.”

Pine has certification as an assessor and a building inspector and thinks his experience in the assessor’s office and in real estate suit him for another term. He is running on Working Families Party and Democrat lines.

Pine, 58, was Rensselaerville’s building inspector for two years. He served on its planning board and zoning review board in the 1990s. He graduated from Greenville High School and took three semesters at Columbia-Greene Community College, then moved to Rensselaerville in 1979 when he married his wife, a former town board member.

On running for a new term, Pine said current candidate's aren't doing a good job. He said he helped a resident grieve his assessment this year, claiming he wasn’t given an enhanced STAR (School TAx Relief) exemption in the past two years. The exemption was given, Pine said, and the resident is supposed to get a refund for the prior year.

“Everybody in Preston Hollow should have gotten a decrease in their assessment. Nobody did, but there are a couple of people that had their assessment go up,” Pine said, despite damage from the tropical storms.

Pine doesn’t think a revaluation is necessary in the coming years, with the last full one completed just before he took office in 1999. He said he would support it, but that the town’s budget cannot.

“For the most part, the town’s in really good shape as far as their inventory,” Pine said.

Thursday-evening office hours aside, Pine said he has always been available as the town’s assessor on off hours. He works full-time in the New Scotland code-enforcement officer post.

“If people can’t make it on Thursday, I’ll get a hold of them. I’ll meet them on Saturday,” said Pine.

Asked how he notifies a property owner for an inspection, Pine said, “You knock on the door, you tell them who you are. They’re not around, you leave a card.”

If he wins, Pine said he wouldn’t do partial assessments, and his priority would be to adjust the assessments of Preston Hollow properties affected by Tropical Storm Irene.

“If I don’t get back in, I’m going to help every one of them grieve,” said Pine.