By Paul Chasko
Mrs. Pamela Lawrence tendered her resignation as Union Township (UT) Tax Collector on March 16 after holding the position for only two months. State law requires that the tax collector in UT must be able to post a $1.3 million surety bond by March 15
in order to hold the position. When it became apparent to Mrs. Lawrence that she would have difficulty in obtaining bonding for that amount, she reluctantly submitted a letter of resignation to the UT board. Mrs. Lawrence commented that she had no idea bonding might be a problem after she successfully completed her campaign last year. Apparently, obtaining sizeable surety bonds has become more difficult it times of economic stress.
Members of the UT board of supervisors accepted her resignation calling it, “an unfortunate situation.” The board took the following position: “we have no recourse but to accept the resignation as continuation without bond could result in possible financial exposure to Mrs. Lawrence, the board members and residents of UT.”
After the resignation of Mrs. Lawrence, the UT Board of Supervisors appointed Mrs. Bernadette Speer to the position of UT Tax Collector. Mrs. Speer had run against Mrs. Lawrence in last year’s election.
Mrs. Lawrence was not alone in this situation. The Clerk of Courts released a list of sixteen other tax collectors who were not bonded in Washington County, which raises some questions. Why didn’t the Clerk of Courts Office determine there was going to be a bonding problem before these folks started their duties? Why isn’t there a requirement in the law for candidates to show they’re bondable as a requirement for running for office? It would save a great deal of grief for all parties involved. One might also question whether running for local office is now going to require a certain degree of affluence with the system turning away candidates who are otherwise very qualified for office.
Last Updated on Friday, 09 April 2010 20:43