Election Day in Pennsylvania is Nov. 5 – and Patch is providing our readers with a look at the candidates running for office locally.
Republican Ryan Wall, who was appointed to the position former tax collector Mark Painter resigned to serve in the Pennsylvania legislature, is running in his first election for the position. Local business owner Annamarie Chestnut, a Democrat, is also running.
Here is a look at the candidates:
Name: Ryan Wall
Running for: Limerick Tax Collector
Party Affiliation: Republican
Positions Previously Held/Education:
Limerick Tax Collector
Former Corporate Tax Associate
Treasurer of the Limerick Industrial Development Authority
Limerick Planning Commission Member
Master of Science in Finance – Saint Joseph’s University
Bachelor of Science in Accounting (Summa Cum Laude) - Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Why are you running for office? When the previous tax collector was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives the position opened up and I knew this was my opportunity to offer my knowledge, qualifications, and youthful energy to the residents of Limerick. As a former Corporate Tax Associate for a public accounting firm with a Master’s Degree in Finance and Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting I was confident I had the experience and expertise to do the job and provide great service. Over the course of the year I have enjoyed meeting many of the residents of the township and the assistance I have provided has been a mutually rewarding experience.
What are the biggest issues facing your community? I think in today’s tough economy and the state’s current property tax structure many residents are struggling. That is why I saw the need to start offering semi-annual Property Tax and Rent Rebate Seminars for eligible residents who met certain age and income requirements. The annual relief offered by the state has helped many of our residents.
If elected, what do you hope to accomplish? Since becoming Tax Collector as I just mentioned, I instituted a semi-annual seminar series for seniors to assist them with the Property Tax and Rent Rebate Program and I increased office hours from the previous year by 30%. I also want to facilitate the process of making online payments. I hope voters allow me the opportunity to continue improving upon the progress that has already been made.
Interesting fact about you: In my spare time I enjoy skiing and I volunteer as member of Spring Mountain’s Ski Patrol providing assistance and first aid to anyone in need.
Name: Annamarie Hewitt Chestnut
Running for: Limerick Tax Collector
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Positions Previously Held: Owner of Annamarie’s Place in Royersford for almost 20 years, Co-Chair of the Royersford Business Association, Co- Founder of the annual Royersford Community Day Event
Why are you running for office? I am a lifelong resident, I chose to stay here and raise my family. I could have moved myself, or my business to any town, but this area and the people in it, are my heart. I care about our township, and I could never want for a better place to live or work. I have always been community minded, and this is just another way for me to continue to stay actively involved.
What are the biggest issues facing your community? The biggest issue facing a tax collector is being devoted to the position and being TRULY accessible to the tax payer. Taxes are a fact of life, and never a joy, but paying them should be easy and convenient. The residents’ concerns or questions about the process must be dealt with as if they were your own. Being a small business owner allows me the time, to dedicate myself to this position, and to the people’s needs. Being self- employed allows me to be flexible to the tax payer’s schedules. Being a homeowner and taxpayer, I can also relate to the tax payers’ burden.
If elected, what do you hope to accomplish? I hope to run the tax office, if elected, in a responsible, efficient, and proactive manner. Hearing the residents’ needs isn’t enough; the fulfillment of those needs is of the utmost importance. The process of paying your taxes can be frustrating when you don't have access to your tax collector, but with me you will have real accessibility. If you give me the chance I’ll prove my commitment to this position as I have my other endeavors.
Interesting fact about you: I opened my first business at the age of 19, and have been dedicated to my customers and community for almost 20 years. I have a wonderfully supportive husband of 14 years, Paul, and two beautiful children - my daughter Zoey will be starting Kindergarten next September, and my son Cooper is in 5th grade at Spring-Ford's 5/6 Center. I am an active member of the Spring-Ford Rotary, a co-chair of the Royersford Business Association, co-founder of the Royersford Community Day, and a successful, local business person, who strives to promote community pride and involvement in all that I do.