When Virginia “Ginny” Thompson arrived at Manchester Town Hall in January, 1995, she was already a seasoned municipal assessor. She’d been serving as principal assessor for the town of Lincoln’s when she was lured away by Paul Bockelman, then Manchester’s Town Administrator who led the search team that included Assessor Jerry Noonan for a new assessor. Thompson was their top choice. It was a really good one.
This week, after nearly 27 years at Manchester Town Hall, Thompson retired.
“Ginny is the best of the best. She has done a tremendous job here in Manchester as well as for the profession state-wide. It has been an honor to work with her,” said Town Administrator Greg Federspiel.
Thompson’s leadership has moved the needle at her department. In more than two decades, Thompson has transformed the Assessor’s Office and its functions, leaning strong into back-office technology, and streamlining seemingly countless responsibilities from inspections to tax billing for approximately 3,000 properties in town, excise taxes to assessing home values to building and local board permits (including boards of health, planning, and zoning) and even mooring registrations. Indeed, many automated functions easily available at the click of a mouse for all residents today (including “MapGEO,” with its seemingly limitless layers of data) are due to the changes led by Thompson. Another initiative by Thompson that promises lasting legacy is her tireless work with the CPC, Town Planner Sue Brown and others, Thompson has worked to forensically search titles of widowed or abandoned land locked parcels in Manchester’s Western Woods to identify and reclaim some 190 acres of contiguous property that will be used as part of a 500-acre network of lands for public open space and trails.
Along the way, Thompson has had impact on her guild. She has served as president of the Massachusetts Assessors Association. She’s won awards and recognitions, including one from the State House presented last week by Mass. Rep. Brad Hill, who made it a priority before he leaves next month for a new post on the state’s Gaming Commission.
Thompson’s official last day was September 30. Colleagues gathered for a proper sent off, not a goodbye but a “Fare Well.” The day was also Thompson’s 60th birthday. And, perhaps as only a municipal assessor might do, she made sure her final day at Town Hall was scheduled for the last day of the third financial quarter of the year. Buttoned up and good to go, Ginny Thompson.