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Nestico appointed to Jeannette tax collector position

| Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The City of Jeannette has appointed a new tax collector, but the question of what will happen with the ballot in this November's election remains unanswered.

Sam Casino submitted his official letter of resignation last week, which council approved before appointing Michael Nestico to fill the remainder of the tax collector's term.

In Casino's letter, he wrote that he was relinquishing his office as the “full-time, visible tax collector.”

“Sam's leaving has been a different approach for the city,” said Mayor Robert Carter. “We want to thank Sam for the good times he had with the city and hope he has a good time off.”

Since Casino's verbal resignation on June 18, the tax office in city hall has continued to operate with two employees and assistance from city clerk Michael Minyon and council members.

The office has enacted new hours, staying open through the lunch hour, which councilman Mark Levander said has been very busy.

Carter said the office has also made a change by going back to mailing tax bills directly to banks rather than to taxpayers. Casino stopped this practice earlier this year, citing declining staff numbers and a difficultly in keeping up with the records as the reason.

“This will alleviate that extra step and cut out the extra postage,” said Carter. “We're receiving positive comments from the financial institutions on going back to the way it was before and from the residents regarding the extra hours.”

Nestico, an attorney, is a Republican who earned enough write-in votes in the primary to face Casino, a Democrat, in the general election this fall. Initially, Casino ran for re-election to the post unopposed.

City Solicitor Scott Avolio said the county's election bureau had been in contact with his office asking about Casino's intentions for the November election. According to Avolio, Casino did not address the upcoming election in his resignation letter and the bureau is unsure if he still intends to run for the office.

“The Democratic committee still has time to put another name on the ballot and still have a race (if Casino doesn't intend to run),” Avolio told council members during last week's meeting.

In the meantime, Nestico told council he was ready to take over in the tax office. Last month, he said he would welcome this opportunity to get a head start as tax collector.

Kristie Linden is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at klinden@tribweb.com or 724-838-5154.

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