Letter: Questions Qualifications of Democratic Candidate for Old Lyme Tax Collector

Much effort goes into the debates and coverage for the seats for Board of Selectmen and Board of Education, but what about the other seats, such as tax collector?  Our current tax collector has a 99% success tax collection rate, what needs to change?  

The Democratic nomination has set forth an individual with no municipal experience, whose platform is to bring a more “efficient tax friendly user friendly” process… for the 1%?  Assuming, actually hearing, that she may be looking to implement modern technology such as online bill payment, what is her proposal and cost analysis for such implementation?  

Full disclosure, I’m an avid proponent of streamlining, when necessary. But, does this require, yet another upgrade to the town’s IT system (including employee training, software, equipment, insurances).  Is this this proposal truly only geared to the 1%?  

Seeing her “bio” from the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee, it does not appear she currently holds the proper accreditation to hold the position of a municipal tax collector. She holds a BS in marketing, not finance, accounting or business. Does she have an IT background to move forward with online collection and payments to include cloud based servers, troubleshooting and the fair debt/credit collection regulations? Perhaps this is not a full “bio” of the DTC candidate.  

If she gets elected and doesn’t “qualify” under the statutes and regulations, is her and her department’s education, training and certification coming at the cost of the taxpayers?  How is she proposing to budget these potential matters?  We could only presume her salary, if elected  is commensurate with her (lack) of experience.

While I applaud and encourage all residents to become involve in municipal government, the reasons behind the involvement and/or nomination should be clear when vying for a salaried position vs. an unpaid voluntary seat, whether Board of Education, Zoning, Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning, Board of Finance, etc.

I’d like to know more information and the basis for the OL DTC nomination of a new tax collector to ensure this is not a personal matter, in light of the current tax collector’s success rate. 

Stacy Winchell
30 year resident of the 06371

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