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ELECTION: 2 campaign for Jay tax collector

November 3, 2017
By AARON CERBONE - For the News ( , Lake Placid News

As the current tax collector for the town of Jay, Valerie Coolidge, leaves the position for warmer weather, two women from the town are asking voters to support them in their campaigns to take her spot.


Lori Ducharme

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Republican Lori Ducharme, a teacher at the Champlain Valley Technology Education Center, is running for an elected position for the first time and believes her years working with numbers set her up to be an accurate and organized tax collector.

At CV-TEC she has taught 11th- and 12th-graders statistics, auto mechanic math and paycheck calculations relating to several specific fields students are training for.

Ducharme will have to be trained in the ins and outs of tax collecting herself, but she said 30 years of teaching a variety of math systems across a variety of school systems has prepared her to learn. Staying employed since she was 16 years old, which allowed her graduate with a master's degree debt-free, she said she looks at the position in the long term and understands the value of a dollar.

"I am a taxpayer," Ducharme said. "Nobody likes to pay taxes, but somebody's got to collect them."

Ducharme also mentioned she wants the tax collecting process to be easy, promising a friendly attitude and the ability to collect taxes through April.


Susan Richards

Democrat Susan Richards worked for the town of Jay from 2005 to 2015. as the clerk to the supervisor and budget officer. In these 11 years she worked on the other end of the tax collector's job, developing the warrant for each year's taxes, which the collector uses as a guide when collecting as well as auditing the department.

She left her town job to spend more time with her family and said she is now ready to pick up a position with a less hectic schedule. Richards is familiar with the tax collecting responsibilities and said timely deposits and accessibility are crucial to running the position effectively. She said she will keep her office open late to allow those working regular 9-to-5 jobs the opportunity to turn in their taxes without shoehorning it into their workday.

While Richards worked as a clerk in the office, she saw the death of the then-tax collector June Taylor, someone she holds as an exemplary public employee.

"When she passed away in office it was really, really hard on the town, and I think it was a shock because so many people came to love her," Richards said. "She was like family; they trusted her. I think that's something I would like to be for the town."



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