The board voted in Ursula Henry as the new tax collector during its Nov. 5 meeting. She was sworn into office last Friday.
Henry is familiar with the position. She was tax collector for two years, from 2001 through 2003. Although she has been away from the position for nine years, she feels comfortable stepping back into the role.
“I’ve done it in the past and I have a great working relationship with Linda Holt, the assistant tax collector,” Henry said. “There are so many resources out there to help you.”
Henry explained that, when she was in the office for the first time, she compiled all the regulations and state statutes into a guide, which means that it will be there for her as she resumes her position.
Before Henry was appointed, Selectman Christopher Bielik nominated Mary Anne Holloway for the position.
“I think that her qualifications for the position are pretty self evident,” Bielik said of Holloway. “I can’t recommend her more highly.”
However, neither First Selectman Gerard Smith nor Selectman Dave D’Amico felt Holloway was the right choice for the position.
When D’Amico made a motion to appoint Henry, he said he was doing so because she was the previous tax collector and she is familiar with the position.
Holloway, who was present at the meeting, questioned if it was appropriate to place Henry, who is a Republican, in the position when previous tax collector, Mildred Jurzynski, a Democrat, had been elected to the position.
“Do you feel it is your responsibility to put in another Democrat and can you not put in another Democrat?” Holloway asked the board.
Smith explained that, according to state statuettes, the board could appoint Henry to the position.
“The state statutes state that, in a single party position like that, the Board of Selectmen can appoint an individual from any political party,” Smith said. “My personal opinion is that, at the local level we don’t discuss guns, abortion, or any of those issues, so we’re all the same people working. Party doesn’t really mean anything at the local level.”