Commissioners back Parrilla: President retains seat after property tax upset

-STOWE-


By Chadwick Dolgos


Robin Parrilla has retained his position as Stowe commissioners president despite objections to his personal record voiced by several residents in recent months.


Commissioners Kelly Cropper-Hall, Darrell Chestnutt and Parrilla voted to extend his leadership term by a 3-1 vote during the township’s Jan. 6 reorganization meeting. Commissioner Dave Rugh was absent from the meeting.


“Before I make this nomination, I understand that there has been a lot said,” Cropper-Hall said.


“Under the leadership of this gentleman, we have stayed on budget, plus a surplus each year he has been president. We have doubled our police force, we have taken down numerous houses, and we have addressed multiple issues throughout the town. I am proud to nominate Robin Parrilla as president,” she said.


During the board’s November 2021 regular meeting, resident Jeffrey Paul and school board director Tyler Kochirka requested that Parrilla not be reappointed to an executive position after it was revealed that he owed more than $30,000 in taxes on his property dating back nearly a decade.

No other nominations were made for the position. Commissioner Cheryl McDermott voted against Parrilla’s reappointment, citing the property tax issue.


“I can’t vote to put someone who has a tax issue, who can decide to lien property for back taxes in a position where he makes financial decisions for the township,” McDermott said.


“I care about our constituents and I hope they realize I vote for the betterment of the township. I don’t want to see politics, I want to see growth and positivity.”


The meeting was originally scheduled for Monday, Jan. 3 at 8 p.m. – the same date and time Ben Roethlisberger was set to take the field for the last time at Heinz Field as a Pittsburgh Steeler – but had to be rescheduled because of a growing number COVID-19 cases detected in the building. Attendees were encouraged to attend the rescheduled meeting virtually via Zoom.


“It’s a cesspool down there,” said McDermott, explaining that the rescheduling was not due to the Steelers’ Monday night game.


Newly hired secretary Dwight Boddorf confirmed that he had a breakthrough case the week prior, forcing him to quarantine. In the police department, two officers and two dispatchers also tested positive.


The board will continue to hold monthly meetings in person on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the municipal building.


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