Calling tax collector a mole, Newberry Twp. supervisor seeks to expel her from town hall

Lindsey O'Laughlin
York Dispatch

At least one Newberry Township supervisor aims to exile the local tax collector from the township building after accusing her of feeding information to a Facebook group that's highly critical of local officials.

Township tax collector Debra Popp denied the accusation that she's a mole for Newberry Township Breaking News, lodged Dec. 8 by Supervisor Maxine Kauffman, and protested the proposal, which would move her office to the township's sewer building, 400 Cly Road, effective Feb. 1.

"To give, what, less than a month to change everything and have everything moved? That doesn't make any sense," Popp said.

Popp said she has thousands of envelopes, six bank accounts and other tax collection documents that list 1915 Old Trail Road, the township building, as the tax collector's address.

There's one year left in her four-year term as tax collector, a position she's held for 26 years.

The Newberry Township Municipal complex Friday, Jan. 3, 2020. Bill Kalina photo

Initially on Dec. 8, Kauffman said the move was due to a lack of space at the township office. But when Popp brought up an email that Kauffman purportedly sent to fellow Supervisor Clair Wintermyer, allegedly stating she wanted Popp "out of this office," Kauffman changed her tune.

"Well, you know, with Newberry Town Breaking News, it's a tough situation," Kauffman said.

Popp said she has nothing to do with the Facebook page, and when Kauffman insisted that Popp was involved, Popp again denied the accusation and said Kauffman has no proof of the claim.

Kauffman then added that the proposal was also about space limitations at the township building.

Township manager Tony Miller said the township would pay for all of the moving expenses and costs to get Popp set up in the new office.

After Popp explained how difficult it would be to move her office in the middle of her term, most of the board agreed to table the decision until January.

Kauffman dissented and said the board should move ahead with the decision, but she was overruled.

The board also approved a resolution to keep the tax collector's compensation flat at $1 for each township tax bill sent out and $2.25 for each tax payment collected, effective Jan. 1, 2022, the start of the next tax collector's term.

But the resolution also hiked the rent for the tax collector's office from $200 a month to $800 a month, which Popp pays to the township.

"So you're keeping the pay the same and you're increasing the rent by $600 a month?" Popp asked.

Board Chair Dave Kirkpatrick said the new price is the comparable rate for that type of office space.

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