For the last 14 years, Ms. Spagnolo has driven from her home in Warwick to her post as Bristol’s tax assessor, occasionally dealing with traffic snarls and other commuter issues. By the end of January, however, she’ll be logging a lot fewer miles. She’s leaving her job in Bristol and filling a similar position for the city of Warwick.
“I’ll have about an eight minute drive to work,” she said.
Ms. Spagnolo said that she learned of the opportunity with the city of Warwick while attending the retirement party for former Bristol Town Administrator Diane Mederos. While at the party for Mederos, she bumped into Warwick officials.
“My new boss said, ‘we want to steal you away from Bristol’,” Ms. Spagnolo said.
In the weeks that followed, conversations ensued between Ms. Spagnolo and Warwick city officials, as well as between Ms. Spagnolo and new Bristol Town Administrator Tony Teixeira.
“It was a decision she wanted to make. Her point to me was that she had the opportunity. I can’t blame her,” said Mr. Teixeira.
Since being in the role of town administrator, Mr. Teixeira said that he hasn’t had any concerns with Ms. Spagnolo’s performance and is hoping that the transition to a new tax assessor will go smoothly. With the town about to begin it statistical revaluation, Mr. Teixeira said that if the change is going to happen, “this is a good time to do it.”
Given Ms. Spagnolo’s resignation, the town advertised for applicants interested in becoming Bristol’s new tax assessor. The deadline for applications was Wednesday, Jan. 16.
“We do have a few applicants. I know some have come in,” Mr. Teixeira said.
Mr. Teixeira said there is a committee of five people who will review the applications and help in the selection process.
“We’re hoping to have someone in by the end of the month,” he said.
During the transition, Ms. Spagnolo will work one day a week in the Warwick tax assessor’s office. Once Bristol hires a replacement, she will help that person transition in.
The tax assessor is responsible for municipal tax assessment and appraisal of residential, commercial, industrial and tangible personal properties, as well as for the collection of municipal taxes. The job pays between $60,000 and $70,000 per year, plus benefits.