Sharon council Monday overrode Mayor Bob Lucas’ veto of their decision to outsource the city’s wage tax collection.

By a vote of 4-1, council members reconfirmed hiring Central Tax Bureau of Pennsylvania Inc., Bridgevillle.

“It’s a sad day in the city when we have to do that because it could’ve been worked out,” council President Fred Hoffman said after the meeting.

Lucas said the veto, perhaps the first in the city’s history, was not an easy thing to do.

But he said he feels he was correct in doing so, again citing interest the city will lose on receipts.

Council also approved by first reading an ordinance cutting the positions of receiver of wage taxes and a clerk in the office. Hoffman said officials still have to work out job changes as to seniority in the union and that someone will stay in the office during the transition.

The job cuts will most likely result in the filing of a union grievance, Hoffman said.

CENTAX’s services are effective immediately and Lucas and the city controller have three days to sign the contract or Hoffman and the city clerk will do so, making the document legally binding.

Council member Jennifer Barborak voted against the resolutions and read a statement explaining her position.

Mrs. Barborak said she had done research, weighed the pros and cons, and considered her “gut feelings” before coming to the conclusion that there are other options available that haven’t been explored, including teaming up with Hermitage or Farrell on wage tax collection.

An Early Intervention Program report on the city’s finances and auditor findings have recommended new software for the wage tax office and training for the employees, Mrs. Barborak said. Those things have not been done by council.

She also said a few things in the contract left her “uneasy,” including an automatic renewal policy. She also questioned a provision designating one person to make decisions and another that says the city is responsible for legal fees incurred by the company during delinquency collection.

Mrs. Barborak said her decision had “no political hidden meaning.”

However, she expressed her personal reservations about CENTAX President Bob Villella, with whom city officials have been dealing.

City resident Dave Kepics, whose wife will likely lose her job as a police clerk at the city building, spoke in favor of the mayor’s veto.

“What council is doing is taking jobs … that require residency … and shipping them down route 79 to Bridgeville,” said Kepics.

“I don’t know what you’re thinking — I really don’t,” Kepics said, noting Sharon’s high unemployment rate. “It’s wrong.”

Hoffman told Kepics he had a right to disagree, but said that council members have to do what they think is in the best interest of the city.

Sharon resident Carol Swartz said she wished council members would postpone their decision and “really look at it and think about it.”



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