RUMFORD — Tax Collector Thomas B. Bourret and four others are seeking the two-year tax collector and constable seat at the town elections Tuesday.

In February, tax collector and constable John Giambattista resigned to take a job elsewhere and selectmen appointed his deputy tax collector, Bourret, to fill his remaining term.

Now, Bourret and Amy L. Bernard, Kim S. Cocca, Cindy Kelley and Jeremy Vashaw are vying for the jobs.

Bourret, 39, a Rumford native, lives on Knox Street, and has owned the Maine Press Printing Co. in Rumford for 19 years. He served as deputy tax collector since 2009.

He said Wednesday that he wants to continue.

“For me, it’s about service,” Bourret said. “As a successful Rumford business owner, I’ve developed a strong commitment to our community. Voting for me ensures a smooth transition, whereas someone else is going to have to learn the job and that’s something I don’t think the citizens of Rumford want,” he said.

Additionally, if elected, Bourret said he will implement technological opportunities, like paying taxes electronically instead of only by cash or check.

“The goal is to have a Web-based tax collection process within my first term,” he said.

Kelley, 58, a Pine Street resident, works in the tax collector office helping Bourret. Prior to that, she was Byron’s town clerk and deputy tax collector.

She said she wants the job, because she’s a Rumford native and plans to retire here.

“I’d love to finish out my last few years of working here,” Kelley said. “I think I’d do a good job. I enjoy the work that I’m doing now and it would be the same, plus more challenging things.”

Cocca, of Holyoke Avenue, said Thursday that she believes she’s qualified for the job, citing more than 27 years of work in public service.

“My reason for running for tax collector is that I need a job, I enjoy working and serving the public,” she said. She also worked in 1995 as deputy town clerk in Bethel before being called to work at the then Boise Cascade paper mill.

“I do have the personality and warm smile that makes a person having a not-so-good day feel better for a moment,” Cocca said.

A Reiki practitioner, she said she has voluntarily served the Oxford County United Bikers of Maine since 1993 as secretary, treasurer and area representative.

“If elected I will do my utmost best to provide the best service possible to the townspeople,” she said.

Bernard is a Rumford native who lives on Crescent Avenue in the Virginia neighborhood. She is employed as town manager of Wayne, where she also does tax collection work.

“I am the jack of all trades in Wayne, so I know how to do it and I’m experienced in it, so I thought I could help out my own community and save myself traveling 34 miles each way,” Bernard said.

In 2004, Bernard served on Rumford’s Downtown Revitalization Committee, and in 2003-04 as a SAD 43 board member in Mexico.

While working as Wayne’s town manager for more than three years, Bernard said she’s trained two tax collectors and two town clerks.

“So I know the job,” she said.

Vashaw, 39, is a Rumford native, who lives on Somerset Street. He wants the job so he can bring his 16 years of experience in the hospitality/restaurant business at Sunday River Ski Resort to provide better customer service for taxpayers.

“People come in to pay their taxes and the tax collector needs to try to act like they’re appreciative that they’re there,” Vashaw said.

He said he ran unsuccessfully for selectman a few years ago, served nine years on the Board of Appeals and a year on the Finance Committee.

Vashaw said he can do the tax collector job, because he did the same work handling accounts payable and receivable for 10 years at Bartash’s.

Vashaw currently works as senior banquet captain for Sunday River, and in the winter is the resort’s floor manager for a hotel restaurant.

“I bring a different perspective that I don’t think anybody else has,” he said.

Polls are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, at the American Legion hall on upper Congress Street.

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