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Hess Opposes Tax Claim Hire at Schuylkill County Courthouse

tax claim office hiring opposed

tax claim office hiring opposed

Schuylkill County Commissioners clashed on Wednesday over a hiring in the redeveloping Tax Claims office at the Courthouse.

Commissioner Gary Hess voted against hiring Deborah Dasch as the Interim Tax Claim Assistant Director at a salary of $58,341. His was the only dissenting vote. Commissioners Boots Hetherington and George Halcovage voted in favor of Dasch’s hiring. And during the Salary Board meeting following Wednesday’s Commissioners Work Session, Acting Controller Sharyn Yackenchick also voted in favor of Dasch.

Hess explained that his vote wasn’t against Dasch, the person, just the personnel actions being taken.

“This is not against the person moving into the position. It’s about the creation of the position itself. I voted in favor of her and the position a few months ago but that was under a different situation that that was created. This is a different situation,” Hess said.

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Hiring of Schuylkill County Interim Tax Claim Assistant Director Opposed

Hess is definitely concerned over any move involving the tax offices at the Courthouse. Earlier this year, the County hired a pair of consultants to help them reconfigure the Tax Claims and Tax Assessment offices at the Courthouse.

In doing so, several County officials said the way those offices were operating just wasn’t working out but haven’t really shown since that they know how they should be run.

Consultants were hired through the end of this year to figure it out. And even after months of reconfiguring and expensive consultation, the best the County could do at this point in the year is hire someone to an “interim” job.

But that’s not the only reason Hess objected to the hiring. These two offices are hot potatoes right now as two of the Jane Doe plaintiffs in the federal sexual harassment lawsuit against Halcovage, Administrator Gary Bender and Solicitor Glenn Roth just so happen to work in those offices.

Well, they did until they were suspended indefinitely without pay from their jobs a couple weeks ago. That casts a pall of retaliation over any personnel moves involving those offices right now. Even the decision earlier this year to reconfigure how they operation as a whole has raised the suspicions of some in the Courthouse.

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“If we’re creating this position, I believe a determination should be made about the length of time this position will be held because of the things that are out there on this, also because of the pending litigation that’s been going on for well over a year now that hasn’t been resolved, Hess said Wednesday. “So, a decision should be made before any of this is changed. I cannot support this position.”

Hetherington responded to Hess’ comments saying only, “We have to run the tax office,” and “We have to run the Courthouse.”


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  1. Sylvia

    October 7, 2021 at 10:18 am

    It looks like the only capable person in the commissioners is Gary Hess. He gave very good reasons why things should not be changed right now in the tax office, because they are in the middle of the on-going case of Halcovage. Just stop to think about it!!!

    • Canary Commenter

      October 7, 2021 at 1:09 pm

      It’s definitely a politically convenient stance to take. We have a follow-up story on this meeting that’ll publish later today.

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