AAOM 2018 Conference Report
Submitted by Marc Connelly, Conference Chair
The 62nd Annual Professional Development Conference of the Association of Assessing Officers of Manitoba was held on May 9th and 10th, 2018 at the Best Western Plus Airport Hotel in Winnipeg. The theme of the 2018 Conference was “The Impact of Outside Influences on Assessment” and 128 delegates consisting mainly of assessors from the City of Winnipeg Assessment & Taxation Department and the Municipal Relations Assessment Services Department were in attendance for the two days.
On Wednesday, May 9th Registration opened at 7:00 a.m. and a full breakfast buffet was available to all delegates. The Opening Ceremonies began at 8:30 a.m. with Mirek Frolek, AAOM President, as MC. The AAOM was pleased to welcome Sister Association representatives Chandra Reilly – SAAA, Rene Boutin and Steve Bannerman – AAA, Mario Vittiglio – IMA, Wade Patterson – IAAO who brought greetings on behalf of their Associations. Lesley McFarlane, Assistant Deputy Minister of Municipal Relations spoke to the delegates and Derek Johnson, MLA for the Interlake, brought greetings on behalf of the Honourable Jeff Wharton.
Lloyd Funk, Provincial Municipal Assessor and Mel Chambers, City Assessor/Director of Assessment addressed the delegates and touched on the challenges of the previous year and those expected in the year ahead.
At 10:45 a.m. all delegates gathered for the Annual General Meeting facilitated by President Frolek. Mirek made reference to the various Committee and Board reports contained in the 2017-18 Annual Report and asked if anyone had any questions. He then called on Jan Trochim, Chair of AAOM’s Accreditation Board to present AAM Certificates to the newly accredited Assessors from both the City of Winnipeg Assessment & Taxation Department and Provincial Assessment Services. Jan was assisted by Shirley Bomak, Chair of the Examining Board. The names of the ten Assessors were noted in the Accreditation Board Report.
The next Agenda item was the Elections for the Executive Council for the next term. Mirek called on Michael Cortvriendt, Chair of the Nominations Committee. Michael announced that the positions of Secretary/Treasurer and 5 Directors needed to be filled. Nominations for all positions had previously been received by Michael and after asking and hearing no further nominations from the floor, the following were declared elected: Mike Taylor Secretary/Treasurer for a two-year term; Five Directors for a one year term: Liz Leatherdale, Shirley Bomak, Erin Reid, Marc Connelly and Moreena Tenuwara.
Michael then presented a brief outline on the proposed implementation of a “Continuing Professional Development Program” which would make recertification in the AAM designation mandatory. The Executive plans to present detailed information on the Program to its members in the near future.
President Frolek then introduced the Administrative Assistant Intern, Andrea Maxwell, who is currently in the process of learning the job duties of that position. Andrea will be taking over from Carol Lyons effective January 1st, 2019.
After lunch, Wade Patterson from IAAO, presented a Seminar entitled “The Ad Valorem Process in Oklahoma”. He gave a brief history of how properties were and are currently being assessed in that State and how technology, new tools and training have streamlined the process.
The second and final seminar of Day one was presented by David Falk of Facilitated Solutions. David gave the delegates tips and strategies on managing internal and interpersonal dialogue at appeal hearings and when dealing with the public.
The delegates were then invited to a reception in the Elm Room at the Hotel sponsored by the AAOM. Refreshments and food were available from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. after which the Hospitality room was open for further networking and pizza.
On Thursday morning May 10th, a buffet breakfast was again available to the registered delegates. The first Seminar at 8:30 a.m. featured presenters from the Municipal Board: Jeff Bereza, Lori Lavoie, Brenda Loewen and Gordon Daman. They talked about the current process of appeal hearings being unmanageable due to the numbers, and the process they were planning on implementing to deal with the 1800 plus appeals currently on file.
Allen Sutherland from White Spotted Horse Inc. was up next. Allen gave the delegates a brief history of Indigenous people, which helped dispel the common myths and stereotypes about Indigenous Peoples of Canada.
After lunch, Graham Chaze from Cabin Country Realty in Kenora spoke about the trends of recreational property around Lake of the Woods (specifically lake front properties), and what the driving factors are for potential buyers that can affect the market value.
The final seminar of the day was presented by Sergeant Ari Berdesis. He gave the delegates valuable information on explosives and home made labs. Sergeant Berdesis advised the delegates on what to look for and what to do to stay safe if they were suspicious about certain objects and situations when inspecting a property.
As a wrap up to the Conference, a final prize draw was made. Glen Bell from the Minnedosa District Office was the winner of a Gift Card for a Winnipeg Restaurant.
Eight additional prizes were drawn for during the conference and the lucky winners were David Penner, Tyson Addison, Tannis Bohn, Taresa Kowalick, Blaire Martin, Gillian Thomas, Roger Storoschuk, Renelle McGill.
Thanks to all the Delegates who attended the 62nd Annual AAOM Conference; Also many thanks to the Conference Committee for their very valuable assistance in ensuring the success of the 2018 Conference.