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County tax employee to run for treasurer

Beth Kerns Patton is a candidate for Fayette County treasurer

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Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Bullskin woman who has worked in two of Fayette County's tax offices has announced her candidacy for county treasurer.

Beth Kerns Patton is seeking the Democratic nomination for treasurer. Incumbent Robert Danko will retire at the end of the year.

Patton said she wants to apply her experience to the treasurer's office. She has worked in the courthouse since 2008, spending four years in the tax-claim office before transferring last year to the tax-assessment office.

“I enjoy working in the tax-assessment office, and it has definitely been a learning experience,” Patton said. “I have a one-on-one relationship with the tax collectors now, so I feel that this will give me a definite advantage in the treasurer's office.”

Patton said her work includes helping tax collectors balance their monthly reports. She advises them of assessment changes and performs a final settlement each year with all 40 of the county's boroughs, townships and cities. In addition, she assists with customer service in the office.

At the tax-claim bureau, Patton said she helped taxpayers set up payment plans and negotiate the online payment system.

Patton said if she is elected, she will evaluate operations in the office and work with staff to determine whether any changes are needed.

“I can't say at this time that I can see many changes needed to that office,” Patton said. “I do have a few ideas, but I feel until you really get in there, get your feet wet and talk to the staff, that's when you can start to make changes. You work as a team.”

Patton said she believes she can continue to provide excellent customer service in the office while looking for innovative ways to help keep Fayette competitive with other counties in the state.

Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166.

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