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Monroeville

Monroeville residents to vote on merging tax collector, treasurer roles

Dillon Carr
| Friday, Oct. 12, 2018, 10:33 a.m.
FILE - In this March 18, 2014 file photo, voters cast their ballots in Hinsdale, Ill. A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV finds that most Americans ages 15 to 34 think voting in the midterm elections gives their generation some say about how the government runs, and 79 percent of this group say leaders from their generation would do a better job running the country. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
FILE - In this March 18, 2014 file photo, voters cast their ballots in Hinsdale, Ill. A new poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV finds that most Americans ages 15 to 34 think voting in the midterm elections gives their generation some say about how the government runs, and 79 percent of this group say leaders from their generation would do a better job running the country. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

In the Nov. 6 election, Monroeville residents will vote on more than just the candidates.

One of this year’s five ballot questions asks if they’d prefer to give council the option to appoint a tax collector instead of allowing voters to continue to elect one.

Some council members have been vocal in their opposition to the question.

“Essentially, we’re taking away (the voter’s) right to vote for a tax collector,” said Councilman Steve Duncan at a recent meeting. “I think we’re putting politics in instead of allowing residents to have the choice.”

Question 1 would give council the option to combine Monroeville’s treasurer and tax collector duties into one position. Currently, Monroeville has a tax collector, Pat Fulkerson, and a treasurer, Josie Rock. The treasurer is appointed every two years.

Council members Duncan and Tom Wilson as well as Councilman and Deputy Mayor Greg Erosenko asked voters in their wards to vote “no” on Question 1. They represent wards 5, 6 and 7.

Mayor Nick Gresock said many home rule communities do not elect a tax collector and allowing council to appoint one ensures the person is well-qualified. He added that Fulkerson is good at his job.

“The tax collector is a position that he only answers to the residents,” said Erosenko. “There should be no politics involved.”

Fulkerson, who said he is considering not running again when his term expires in 2022, agreed.

“I don’t think the citizens want to give up their right to choose a tax collector or a treasurer in Monroeville,” Fulkerson said at the meeting.

Fulkerson was first elected as the municipality’s tax collector in 2001. The position operates on a four-year term.

Monroeville voters will be asked a total of five questions on November’s ballot that seek to make changes to the municipality’s home rule charter.

The other four questions relate to updating the municipality’s purchasing procedures, subpoena powers for out-of-state parties, changes when appointees to council seats run for election and allowing council to remove a public officer from office.

The home rule charter gives Monroeville the ability to set up its government structure and outlines its authority and limitations. Municipalities that choose home rule can do anything not specifically denied by the state constitution, the General Assembly, or the charter itself.

To see each of the proposed amendments to the charter on the ballot in Monroeville, including an explanation of what will happen if approved, visit monroeville.pa.us, click on “Residents,” then “Voting.”

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, dcarr@tribweb.com or via Twitter @dillonswriting.

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