Melanie Bunzey, Berne assessor candidate

Melanie Bunzey

BERNE — With her children grown up, Melanie Bunzey wants a new way to connect with people in the town. The Democrat is running for a four-year assessor position.

Bunzey, 54, worked for 12 years in various offices in the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District. Ever since spending her senior year at BKW, she has lived in the Hilltowns. Her husband’s cousin is Kenneth Bunzey, who resigned as town justice in April.

“Rob Motschmann was a great assessor and I’m going to follow his lead,” said Bunzey of the longtime Berne assessor, now retiring. “We had a question about our assessment about five years ago, and he came right to our dining-room table and he said, ‘I want you to be happy and I want to be happy — we’re going to look at everything.’”

Bunzey does not have basic certification to be an assessor, but would take courses for it if elected. She said she would like to be in the position for multiple terms. “People have to realize there is a lot of training, a lot of courses that have to be taken, and I’m not going to take that lightly,” said Bunzey.

Working full-time for the Albany County Department of Law, Bunzey said she would be available during evenings and on weekends, aside from the normal office hours of an assessor. She works in the county’s foreclosure unit.

“If there ever was a parcel within Berne that was owned by the county, I would be deferring that to one of the other assessors so that there’s never a conflict,” Bunzey said. She said the properties of family members would be handled similarly.

As part of her paralegal studies, Bunzey said she has taken courses on ethics and real estate. She has associate degrees in business and paralegal studies from Schenectady County Community College. She is also a notary public.