Knox appoints new assessor to start in October

Justin Maxwell

Justin Maxwell

KNOX — Knox will have a new assessor this fall. On Tuesday, May 14, the Knox Town Board unanimously approved hiring Justin Maxwell as the town’s next assessor.

“He’s a young guy, willing to learn,” said Councilman Dennis Barber, who helped conduct the job search.

Maxwell, 31, has been working as the city of Hudson’s assessor for the last year-and-a-half. He told The Enterprise on Thursday that he became interested in being an assessor after he worked with his uncle one summer. All three of his uncles are assessors in different towns in Central New York.

Before that, Maxwell had coached basketball for both Hilbert College and Canisius College in the area around Buffalo.

Maxwell grew up in Guilderland and currently lives in Guilderland. He says he is interested in working in Knox because it is so close to his home and he knows the area around Altamont.

Maxwell will be working three full days in Hudson and two days in Knox. While he says that Hudson and Knox are not exactly similar, he believes much of what he does now will carry over to what he will do in Knox, with the main difference being that Knox will have more agricultural tax exemptions.

Maxwell says he will begin working with the current assessor, Russell Pokorny, a few months prior to his start date of Oct. 1. In the meantime, Maxwell says he is working on a city-wide revaluation of Hudson; the last time Hudson had a revaluation was 2012.

Hudson, with a population of about 7,ooo, is in Columbia County. Knox has a population of close to 3,000.

Pokorny announced he was stepping down earlier this year; his term expires at the end of September. He said that part of the reason he decided to step down was because Supervisor Vasilios Lefkaditis had indicated he would be seeking to replace him anyway. The two are now running against one another for town supervisor.

“He seems very flexible in terms of learning about our town … ,” said Pokorny, of Maxwell, at the town board meeting. “Basically he knows everything you need to know except specifics about our town.”

He added that Maxwell had a good reference from the director of the Columbia County Real Property Tax Service Agency.

At the town’s reorganizational meeting on Jan. 1, the assessor’s salary was set at $12,608; it is not clear if this will change with Maxwell’s appointment. The board made no mention of his salary in approving his appointment.

Lefkaditis noted at the May meeting that the appointment will be for six years. Just before he voted in favor of the appointment, Lefkaditis asked if there is a probationary period for the appointment. The interim town attorney, Javid Afzali, said he would look into it.

“It’s a long appointment,” Lefkaditis said. “If you get stuck with the wrong person, you’re in trouble for six years.”

More Hilltowns News

The Altamont Enterprise is focused on hyper-local, high-quality journalism. We produce free election guides, curate readers' opinion pieces, and engage with important local issues. Subscriptions open full access to our work and make it possible.