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Assessor Says 'Good-Bye' After 20 Years on the Job

BEDFORD HILLS, N.Y—Many changes will be felt throughout the Bedford community after the upcoming calendar flip, and one of those will be the lack of presence of a man who’s held a Bedford post for 20 years.

Tom Polzella has been the Town of Bedford’s assessor for the past two decades and has left an imprint in the town he grew to love. Currently, Polzella, 61, has landed south in his condo in Tampa, FL, where he intends to spend the foreseeable months relaxing, enjoying his family’s company and the occasional surf.

But even amidst the warm weather, and with Bedford drifting farther into the past, Polzella continues to be proud of what he accomplished in his time as assessor and said he gave the town all he could offer.

“One of the things you need, especially in these times, is to watch your temperament and control those people who are upset with their taxes in general,” he said. “The idea I was always accessible, fair, never argumentative or feisty, I could always talk the issue out. There was nothing I wouldn’t do to complete an assessment.”

The town board would agree. Deputy Supervisor Peter Chryssos pretended to openly reject Polzella’s resignation request earlier in the fall at a town board meeting. But Polzella is confident that his replacement, Harold Girdlestone, is fit for the job after a stop in Yorktown as its assessor.

“I’ve always had an open door policy here. I’m at my desk, and you need to see me, I’m available, you can come in and sit down and talk,” Polzella said. “I’ve always run the office that way, and I know Harry will be the same.”

But if there is one aspect of life that Polzella held most dear it is being accessible to the eager public, trying his best to serve those in any way he could.

“Being able to be available to the public, the realtors, the homeowners, attorneys through phone, emails, or walking in this office,” he said. “I’m always available. It’s the way I am.”

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