MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Tuesday night, Lee Ann Provencher became the first female member of the Manchester Board of Assessors since the board was created in 1905.
Provencher began working for the City of Manchester in 1986 in an entry level position and served the city in various roles, working in the Finance Department for seven years as well as serving as the assistant to the Board of Assessors starting in 1994. She has also been a certified appraiser for the past 18 years and holds an associate’s degree from the University of New Hampshire in business.
Provencher is proud to be the first ever female member of the board, but notes that it wasn’t a primary thought during her journey to this point. While she notes that the field is still dominated by men, the number of female assessors in other municipalities and the private sector across New Hampshire is growing.
“Along the way, when I was thinking about being an assessor, I didn’t think about it,” she said. “I was just waiting for my opportunity.”
While the Manchester City Charter requires three members of the Board of Assessors, something that has drawn concern from some members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in recent years, Provencher’s appointment marks the first time the board has had three members since 2010.
Provencher said she is excited to serve on the board which determines requests for tax assessments, abatements and credits in the city. The board also oversees and occasionally assists appraisers working in the city’s assessment office, which is tasked with determining fair market value for properties across the city using real estate transaction data, which plays a role in setting property tax rates.
“I’m just excited and looking forward working with the taxpayers in any way I can,” she said. “I’ve always tried to work in a way that treats people fairly. I want people to come in and feel comfortable talking with us.”