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Blair seeking staff for tax office

Two veteran employees quit without notice Friday

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Blair County is looking for two temporary workers to staff the three-person tax claim office which county administrators started running Monday after two veteran employees quit Friday without advance notice.

The Blair County Salary Board voted Wednesday to create the temporary full-time jobs — at $12 per hour — while the county continues with efforts to hire a director to succeed Polly Cardone, who retired in late July.

Commissioners, who interviewed candidates this week for the tax claim director post, are scheduled to interview one more candidate, Commissioner Laura Burke said Wednesday.

When the salary board convened Wednesday, Burke was scheduled to recommend a $54,674 annual starting salary for the office director.

Instead of taking action, the salary board recessed the meeting and agreed to reconvene at 1 p.m. Friday to address the job’s starting salary.

If the board isn’t ready to act on Friday, it could set another meeting time or wait until its next meeting on Oct. 6.

Since Monday, Chief Clerk/County Administrator Nicole Hemminger and Burke started staffing the tax claim office because Shelley Berry, tax claim coordinator, and Tracy Shylo-Long, administrative support employee, resigned Friday.

The Mirror attempted to reach both former county employees for comment without success. Shylo-

Long said she may comment in the future, but not now.

The county’s tax claim office, which identifies and collects delinquent real estate taxes, is currently preparing for the Sept. 22 upset sale of properties with unpaid taxes. Property owners have the option of keeping their properties from being sold by paying taxes and related amounts.

Both Burke and Hemminger said this week that the tax office remains open and ready to accept tax payments. The Sept. 22 upset sale will also go on as scheduled, Burke said Wednesday.

Job qualifications associated with the temporary jobs in the tax claim office will be posted on the county’s website at www.blairco.org, human resources Director Katherine Swigart said.

The human resources office is also expected, based on Wednesday’s salary board action, to take applications for the tax claim coordinator job, with an hourly salary of $15.51 to $17.06, depending on experience, and for the office’s administrative support job, at $11.29 per hour, based on the current union contact with United Mine Workers of America.

Hemminger, who asked the salary board to approve the hiring of two temporary assistants for the tax claim office, said those temporary positions are to be abolished after the office is staffed again.

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