Bangor City Official Named ‘Assessor Of The Year’ By Maine Association
Bangor's Assessor Phil Drew was named "Assessor of the Year" in the state by the Maine Association of Assessing Officers at a conference at the Sebasco Harbor Resort in Phippsburg this week.
Drew was nominated by the Bangor City Council to receive the honor, which was bestowed upon him at a surprise ceremony Thursday morning.
Bangor City Council Chairman Richard Fournier highlighted Drew's effort to educate both city officials and property owners on how assessing property works.
"Phil has served as the City of Bangor Assessor for seven years. Prior to that, he served twenty-two years in various capacities within our Assessing Department....Since his appointment as Assessor, Phil has focused on educating all involved about the assessment process through enhanced communication and outreach not only to the City Council, but also to the assessors of the future, and most importantly our citizens."
Bangor City Manager Debbie Laurie was also in attendance to watch Drew receive the honor. She submitted a letter of nomination for Drew to be considered, having served alongside him, in several different positions, during his 29+ year tenure working for Bangor. She said while Fournier's letter highlighted Drew's professional accomplishments, she wanted folks to know a little about the behind-the-scenes things Drew does, that many don't see every day.
"On many mornings in advance of the start of the work day, Phil can be seen sweeping up the sidewalks and public areas around City Hall, which not only enriches our community but enhances our 'curb appeal.' Phil is a humble man who is deeply dedicated to his family, faith, and community. He treats all constituents with the utmost respect and dignity. He works daily to ensure the assessment process is fair and equitable and takes the time to ensure that any and all questions are answered."
Drew, who was unaware he was getting the honor, was only tipped off about it when his family (who had been secretly invited to the luncheon to celebrate with him) walked in from a side door.
Travis Roy, President of the Maine Association of Assessing Officers presented one award to Drew, and another to be displayed at Bangor City Hall, to City Council Chair Fournier.
Drew spoke very briefly before joining his wife, and some of his children and grandchildren for a celebration.
"This is an extreme honor to be given by this association. I can think back to all the other individuals who have received it and I've thought very highly of them. And usually, when I'm out there, these individuals are listing their accomplishments or they're being spoken of by other colleagues. A lot of us are really sitting back and thinking 'That individual is really serving so many different roles within their community.' It could be a small or large community. They're successfully carrying out the tasks very well. And I often think 'Well, I'm just the Assessor, carrying out my responsibility in my little silo, and I'm trying to do it well with the staff we have. And I would say, not necessarily doing anything exceptional, but just doing it well and really just being focused on the taxpayer.' Knowing that tax assessments result in tax bills and whenever we make changes, it's going to impact individuals. So we really need to be responsive to them. And the Maine Chapter of IAAO and MAAO provide us excellent educational opportunities so that we can carry out our duties in a thoughtful and meaningful way, both to the taxpayers and to our local communities. So to be here in front of you, to have family members here, I'm just really blessed. All I can say is I'm floored and I'm very humbled. Thank you so much."