Homeowners may not have known Dick Simmons, but he knew them and their homes.
Not only did Simmons has a handle on residencies in this "Town of Homes," he probably has been inside more of them than all the Realtors and real estate brokers in Belmont put together.
As the town's Assessing Administrator – effectively the department's director – Simmons was responsible for calculating the value of each and every home and commercial space in town. Homeowners will remember the postcards sent by the department to allow Simmons and his staff to take a peek inside their homes to get a better feel for the assessed value of homes for tax purposes.
And if you thought the property was overvalued, Simmons would write up the abatement report that was sent to the town's three-member elected Board of Assessors.
But Simmons' institutional history of Belmont homes and skill in pegging values is now gone after he left to work in Lynnfield's assessing office.
"We are sorry to see him go," said a worker in the department's first-floor office in the Homer Building.
The move allows the North Shore resident to work closer to his own home.
Belmont is currently seeking to fill Simmon's shoes. The town's Assessors' Office is staffed by a full time Assessing Administrator, two full-time staff, one part-time staff, along the board.