by Michael TorelliHerald Staff
Just over 20 years ago, Teresa Geremski was a data entry employee for a revaluation company that had been hired by the Town of Cheshire.
During that time, Geremski became more interested in the position of municipal assessor, a job she later became certified for and pursued.
Now, Geremski has returned to Cheshire after being hired as the Town’s new assessor. She replaces Diane Waller, who retired earlier this year.
“About 21 years ago, I just needed a job,” recalled Geremski. “I wanted out of the banking industry — I was in it for several years, it was just time to look for something different.”
Geremski recalls seeing a job posting for a data entry position, to which she applied. She worked with the revaluation company for eight years, until shortly after the company relocated from East Haven to Waterbury. For the New Haven native, the commute became too much.
During her last two years working for the company, Geremski began taking certification classes in order to obtain her Certified Connecticut Municipal Assessor (CCMA) license. In 2006, she was hired as the assistant assessor for the Town of Oxford and, two years later, she received her CCMA I certification.
In 2012, Geremski acquired her CCMA II certification and, five years later, she was hired as Oxford’s assessor.
Last year, the Town of Oxford’s Grand List grew by 2.9 percent. Despite the busy environment, Geremski wanted to work closer to home. While serving as Oxford’s assessor, Geremski acquired the confidence she needed to pursue similar job opportunities elsewhere.
“It was time,” she said. “I felt that for a long time there. I just really wanted to get my legs under me in this business.”
While Geremski thought she would end up working in the New Haven area, the opportunity for employment became available in Cheshire. She quickly became interested in the community and the position.
“This was the right time and the right place,” Geremski said.
Since beginning work in town, Geremski has been busy with tax appeals that were filed as a result of last year’s revaluation. Some of the appeals have now gone to court, so she is trying to become more familiar with each appeal.
Geremski said that not living in town will provide her an the opportunity to take an unbiased approach when handling revaluations and other issues.
“You don’t have any biases toward anybody, so everybody is treated the same,” she said. “I think that’s a perk.”
And while Geremski has only been with the town for one month, she has quickly realized she is surrounded by a hardworking staff.
“I’m very detail-oriented and, since I’ve been here, I’ve noticed the staff here is as well,” stated Geremski. “It’s great to be surrounded by people who have the same values in their work.”
The new assessor will be working closely with Jerry Sitko, the Town’s economic development coordinator, to learn about projects taking place around town. In Oxford, Geremski helped boost economic growth by effectively handling incentive programs and other initiatives. She plans to do the same here.
“I hope there’s something I can do to help attract people here as well,” she said.
Geremski is also studying local ordinances, which are different from Oxford’s.
“There’s a state blanket to this job you could do anywhere, but the local ordinances are always where you have to get yourself familiar from town to town,” explained Geremski.
Geremski can be reached by calling the Assessor’s Office at (203) 271-6620.