PEPPERELL — The current collector/treasurer and one challenger are facing off for the position at Monday’s town election.
Debbie Nutter, who was appointed as collector/treasurer in May 2013, is being challenged by Laura Angle, a banking and finance professional who grew up in Pepperell.
Nutter has worked in municipal government for 17 years, as an elected tax collector and treasurer in Orange for six years, and as the assistant collector in Pepperell for nine years.
She took a position as an appointed treasurer/collector in Harvard for a year and a half, but returned to Pepperell last May when the position here opened in the middle of a term.
Nutter said she loves her job, has the required experience and hopes to continue as the town’s treasurer and collector.
“That’s my goal, to just continue collecting the taxes and working with the people and just doing everything that I can possibly do to get the revenue for the town going again,” Nutter said.
In her time as treasurer/collector, Nutter said she has made changes that have increased efficiency and brought in money that was owed to the town.
She implemented an outside lockbox service to streamline collections and reduced staffing in the office in order to be more efficient with the town’s money. She said she has also collected more than $580,000 in back taxes simply by tracking people down.
“I really have been aggressive about collecting back taxes and I’ve not only just sent letters, but I’ve gone online and found telephone numbers so I can call people,” Nutter said.
Nutter said she would continue to look for cost-saving measures if elected again, but thinks the policies she has implemented over the last year have gone a long way.
Angle is a banking and finance professional who started her career in her hometown, at Pepperell’s branch of the North Middlesex Savings Bank. She then moved to the Ayer branch, where she worked as a training manager, and eventually Shirley as a branch manager.
She now commutes to Boston for a job on State Street at the corporate headquarters of Santander Bank.
She has a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University and is now one course away from completing her MBA there.
Angle said she feels the time is right to attempt a switch to municipal finances.
“I feel as if my experience in banking and finance coupled with my education, which I’ve been working very hard to achieve my MBA, would give me a substantial background to take over a role like that. Also I feel as if I’ve been working in the banking industry for an extended period of time and I’m definitely looking for a new challenge,” Angle said.
Angle said she would have to get into the position before knowing what she would change, but said she supported continuing the lockbox service.
“It’s a time savings having someone else handle that,” she said.
Although she missed Candidates Night due to her invitation getting lost in the mail, Angle said her experience and loyalty make her a strong candidate.
“My background, my work history, my education, which I’ve always taken very seriously, and just a love of learning, learning new things, a new challenge,” Angle said, listing her qualifications for the position. “I’m very dedicated and loyal to the institutions that I’ve worked at. If there’s something I see that could be improved I certainly would not hesitate in speaking up and saying that.”
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