By Elizabeth Perry
Shannon Tomei, 53, was sworn in as the new township tax collector in Stowe this Valentine’s Day.
Tomei has been a registered nurse in the mental health field specializing in children for 35 years and was nominated for the position.
“I’ve been in the community since forever,” Tomei said.
Former Tax Collector Bill Rose resigned from the role in late 2020. Legally, Stowe is supposed to have a tax collector, but Tomei is the first to be sworn in since Rose’s 2020 departure.
Tomei took a class, got certification, and went through a credit check in what she described as a lengthy application process.
“It took over two months. Actually, I’m very proud of the commissioners. They really ran me through the gamut,” Tomei said. “Makes me feel secure no crap is going on.”
Tomei said her job is to work as a liaison between the board and Jordan Tax Service, which sends out delinquent tax bills on behalf of the township.
“She’s been great so far,” Chris Bell, head tax collector for Jordan Tax Services, said.
Tomei will be paid a $150 stipend every month, according to Debbie Brown, assistant township secretary.
She heard about the position when Rose resigned after moving out of the district. Tomei said she was well aware of the politics of the town – and emphasized she wasn’t someone’s cousin, and there was no favoritism involved in her appointment.
She’s wanted to become involved in local politics for years, and now that her son is graduating from high school and she’ll have more free time, saw the position as an entry point.
“I’m kind of getting my feet wet.”
Tomei’s husband, Ian Tomei owns Tomei Towing, a business his grandfather started in 1932 and has remained in the community.
When their kids were younger and he was taking over the family business, Ian Tomei didn’t want her getting involved in politics. Now that they’re older and well-established in both their careers, they saw reason not to.
“I’m not playing the gentleman’s handshake–those days are gone,” Tomei said.
Tomei said her children grew up with the commissioners’ kids, and she’s known everybody on the board for years.
“You couldn’t ask for a better family,” Commissioner Dave Rugh said. “We’re just good, true friends.”
They had been helpful with navigating the process, and Tomei said Stowe Secretary Roberta Farls had been a particularly knowledgeable resource.
“I think they thought I was clearly a committed citizen,” Tomei said.
Typically, the position is elected and Tomei said she will run in the upcoming election.