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Nominations now open for Board of Directors

The Community Software Consortium is beginning the process of elections for 2 positions on the Board of Directors whose current terms are expiring this year.  These positions are currently held by Board Chair Tammy Blackwell and Kathryn Peirce.

Kathyrn Peirce, Assessor from Holliston has informed the board that she will not consider running for the board again, in part because she feels strongly that there should be at least one more collector on the board given the big decisions that face the collector tier over the next year.  Kathyrn has been an invaluable member of the board helping to steer the CSC through very challenging seas, and her leadership will be missed.

The CSC by-laws call for 3 year terms and maintaining staggered terms for all 5 members. There must also be at least one member from each tier.

Elections are held at large, across all member communities and any assessor, collector, or other official in a member community may serve on the Board.  The five positions to the Board of Directors must be from different municipalities. Members must be in good standing to be considered.

Look for email in your in-box with details.

Deadline for nominations is April 21th 2017!

 

Tyler Technologies Named Apparent Winner with IasWorld CAMA System

MassIT along with the procurement committee has selected Tyler Technologies, with its IasWorld software, as the apparent winner in the RFQ process for a new CAMA system for CSC communities.

We are thrilled by this announcement, as Tyler is one of the leading assessment software vendors in the world, and provides a native cloud system with the most advanced and forward looking solution on the market today.  Reports from current users in Massachusetts are highly favorable.

Tyler has been a successful vendor in Massachusetts and New England for decades. This is a relatively new system which replaces their older IASUniverse.

Details will be provided to members at the annual meeting on October 13th.

Stonewall Solutions Selected for Support Services

On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are delighted to announce that Stonewall Solutions Inc. has been selected to provide support services in response to the RFP procurement process.

The decision was very challenging, and the board really appreciated the members’ participation in this process. Your collective feedback helped tremendously.

All three vendors presented strong selling points in their favor as well as deficiencies in certain areas, each with different strengths and skill sets. The price proposal of Stonewall was the most advantageous at $80,000. It was most in keeping with our need to be fiscally responsible and to insure that our annual budget continues to be stable, while allowing for upgrades and benefits for the membership.  Real Estate Research Consultants (RRC) and Regional Resource Group (RRG) price proposals were $96,000+, and $360,000+ respectively.  Stonewall’s bid also fits within the current budget framework already approved for FY17 dues.

It was noted that a significant number of members expressed a preference for RRG. Utilization of their services would have required a more than 4 fold increase in dues ABOVE the already increased dues slated for FY17.  We believe it is our responsibility to provide our membership with the best possible tools to get the job done, in a fiscally responsible manner. In this way, we can assure that ALL our members have an affordable solution.

Many communities, provided they have funds available, may choose to augment the services provided by the CSC by directly contracting with either of the two other vendors, as many currently do now, when they need additional help or services.  This is certainly an option to consider, keeping in mind that municipalities are bound by State Retirement Board and Ethics rules vis-à-vis retired state or municipal employees.

We will be in touch over the next few weeks as we work out the specifics of our contract with Stonewall and how their work will likely interweave with the support services from the Dept. of Revenue’s Local Services division who are continuing their support role beyond the start of FY17.

Our long-term goal will be to insure that there is strong and effective support for our members and that the CSC has an excellent support solution in place regardless of any future changes at DLS.

Again, thank you for your input and participation in this process.

2017 Membership Dues Now Payable

The 2017 Membership dues are now ready for members.

Annual Dues for FY 2017The Community Software Consortium (CSC) consists of multiple membership tiers. Each community member belongs to the General Membership Tier and additionally can belong to one or more tiers.

Dues Assessments are determined annually by vote of the members of each tier.

Beginning in FY 2017, the members voted to have a 3-tiered dues based on the number of parcels in the community.

FY 2017 Dues   (July 1, 2016 –  June 30, 2017)

  • General Fund -$925
    • Assessed to each member community
    • Governed by the Board of Directors
    • Consortium Operating Expenses, Outreach, Advertising, Procurement
  • Assessing Tier    (FY2017)
    • $2,200  =   less than 1000 parcels
    • $2,850   =   1000 -4999 parcels
    • $3,550  =  5000 or more parcels
    • Assessed to each Assessing member in addition to the General Dues
    • CSC Real Estate application
      • Local or Cloud hosting
    • CSC Personal Property Application
      • Local or Cloud hosting
    • Application enhancements, maintenance, training
    • CSC Website – Community-specific landing page; public access to securely hosted assessment data
    • Marshall & Swift Cost Table licenses
    • Reporting tools for ad hoc reporting:
      • IQ Objects
      • Business Objects
  • Collection Tier  (FY 2017)
    • $1,200  =   less than 1000 parcels
    • $1,600   =   1000 -4999 parcels
    • $2,000  =  5000 or more parcels
    • Assessed to each Collection member in addition to the General Dues
    • CSC Tax Administration software
      • Local or Cloud hosting
    • Application maintenance and training
  • Personal Property Tier – $750
    • Personal Property Application
      • Local or Cloud hosting
    • Support & maintenance
    • Marshall & Swift Cost Table license
    • (Included free in Assessing Tier)
  • Technical Tier – $750
    • General Membership within the CSC
    • Public Access
  • Remote IT Tier –  Estimated  to be $1000-1400
    • Remote Backups of all community computers with storage up to 250 Gb
    • Daily monitoring
    • Periodic email notifications to community contact
  • Finance Tier –  Estimated to be $1200-1500
    • General Accounting Module for Accountants and Treasurers

 

The RPIS Condo Enhancements are now available.

A new version of the CSC’s Real Property Information System (RPIS) will be available to all members starting June 9thIn addition to the new Condo features, a number of smaller issues were addressed.  Contact your DLS IT advisor to get the new version of RPIS.  (CSC Cloud users will receive the update automatically – coming soon. Watch your email for a rollout date.)

We are hoping to have a user meeting, to review the new features, at the MAAO conference on Thursday morning June 25th, if we can find a room.  More info shortly.

In addition to the new Condo features, a number of smaller issues were addressed.

These include:

RPIS 3.1a

Data Management and Valuation Enhancements:

  • Modified condo data storage, reporting, and valuation as recommended by the CSC Condo Committee.
  • Added Base Value and Base Rate fields to the Land table, and modifed Cost to populate them.
  • The system now supports range edits on dates.  The Low and High Values entered on the (useful for sale dates, bld permit, inspections etc.) Table/Column List screen will be applied to the year portion of the date.  If the High Value is left blank or set to zero, then the current calendar year will be used as the upper value.  This has been implemented in DMT, Transaction Processor, and Re-Edit.
  • Added a parcel-based page number to the Parcel Listing report. (Good for lengthy parcels like camps or big commercial properties.)
  • Column labels are now shown on the “column pick” screen for Parcel List and Audit List.
  • Removed unused fields from the Table / Column List screen.
  • Inactive columns are now excluded from column lists in Query Builder, Update Builder, etc.
  • On the Query Builder screen, added processing for Key Level 2 tables.
  • An Edit button has been added to the Query Builder screen to allow users to edit queries.
  • Added a subquery wizard to Update Builder.
  • In Image Maintenance:
    • Added a “confirmation” dialog box to the Replace button, to address the problem of inadvertently clicking Replace instead of Add.
    • When deleting a photo, deletion of the photo file is now allowed only if it is not referenced by any other parcel in the PICTURES table.
    • When adding new photos, the program now makes sure the new file is not already referenced by another parcel in the PICTURES table.
    •  Added a Note button.
    •  Added Land (LND) to list of allowable photo types.
    •  Added support for various photo sizes (users can change the default size in Local Settings).  A photo larger than the default size will be downsized; otherwise the size is not adjusted.  In all cases, the original width-to-height ratio of the photo is maintained.  This also works for photos taken in portrait mode.

Bug fixes:

  • Fixed problem in Sketch where using the backspace key in the Label text box crashes Sketch and deletes the vector.
  • Fixed problem with entering apostrophe in Name or Address on Search screen.

New Cost Tables Now Available

The 2014 RPIS Cost Tables are now available for download. Values were derived from Marshall & Swift as of January 1, 2014 and should be used for FY 2015 triennial certification programs.

 

Get them here:  Member Cost Tables