February 26 2018

Burlington Treasurer/Collector Brian Curtin Announces Retirement After Decades of Service

By: Rich Hosford


A long-time Burlington public servant has decided to move onto the next phase of his life.


Burlington Treasurer/Collector Brian Curtin told BNEWS on Friday that he has announced his retirement to friends, family and colleagues. He said that when his current term comes up for re-election in April 2019 he will not seek the seat.


Curtin was first elected as tax collector in 1976 and in 1977 the town combined those duties with the treasurer position. So when he steps down next year he will have been the tax collector for 43 years and treasurer for 42 years.


Curtin’s family moved to town in 1955 when he was a child. Over his time as a resident and then in office Curtin has seen tremendous growth in town. When he started the town budget was roughly 20 million dollars per year. In Fiscal Year 2018 it is 135 million dollars.


“There have been amazing changes, both commercially and industrially,” he said. “Burlington has grown from a small farm town to a large town. It is almost like a city in terms of the amount of business done on a day to day basis. Because location is so important and we are in the center of Routes 128, 93 and 3 we were kind of in the middle of everything. “We were a very viable community for business to come and we’ve seen a large expanse of business.”


With that growth his office and responsibilities have grown as well and the job has become much more complicated and demanding. He and his team are in charge of managing both the finances and the assets of the town, securing bonds  as well as collecting the various taxes that residents and businesses must pay.


“It’s a a large responsibility,” he said. “And things have changed - the amount of money we handle, the number of bills we collect, so those are the big changes. We also handle the benefits for town employees and the number of employees that work for the town has expanded as well. In 1977 we didn’t have many but now we have over 1,000 employees.”


Still, Curtin says he has loved coming to work everyday. He maxed out his pension five years ago but decided to stay on because he enjoyed the job.


“I love this job, I never feel like it’s really work,” he said. “I think if you dislike going in every day than that’s work but I never felt that way.”


However, now that he is nearly 68 years old he says it is time to move on. He said he is looking forward to family time, visiting with his grandson and traveling with his wife.


“I’m looking forward to time off with my family,” he said. “My wife will also retire next year and we’ll take a trip now and then. I also have a 14-month-old grandson and I’m looking forward to spending more time with him.”


Looking back on his career he says he is most proud of a couple of achievements. One is the town purchasing the Burlington Ice Palace, which allows them to keep the price of ice skating reasonable for the town’s youth. The town bonded for the purchase in 1988 and in 2008 the sale was compete.


“We bought it to keep ice skating affordable for the children of Burlington for both the high school and youth programs,” he said. “we are able to keep the hourly rental rates at a reasonable level. That’s one of my proudest accomplishments.”


Another is his longtime work as the treasurer of the Burlington Community Scholarship Foundation (BCSF), which has for at least the past 10 years given out more than $300,000 a year in scholarships to Burlington students. In the last couple of years they have been able to give upwards of $360,000 to graduating seniors and adults seeking to further their education.


The third thing he highlighted was the town’s health insurance program for retired and active employees. He said they have been able to establish a trust fund with roughly $5 million in assets that act as a backup for annual expenses.  


Curtin said he will stay on on with the BCSF and in his role with the Burlington Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union.


“Those two organizations will keep me busy,” he said. “And I’ll still be active in town.”


Finally, Curtin said he will miss his office staff, his colleagues in Town Hall and the daily interactions he has with Burlington residents.


“I’m going to miss going to work everyday because I love going to work every day,” he said. I have a great staff and I will miss them. I will also miss interacting with other town employees and also residents. I grew up here and I know a good percentage of the residents.”


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