2010-04-01 / Local & State

Darryl Heckman Leaves County Coroner Post

County to begin collecting taxes in Valley-Hi
By Chanin Rotz-Mountz STAFF WRITER

Commissioners Craig Cutchall (right), Bonnie Mellott Keefer and David Hoover II present a print of the Fulton County Courthouse to Coroner Darryl Heckman. Heckman is slated to retire on April 1 but will stay on board as a deputy coroner. Commissioners Craig Cutchall (right), Bonnie Mellott Keefer and David Hoover II present a print of the Fulton County Courthouse to Coroner Darryl Heckman. Heckman is slated to retire on April 1 but will stay on board as a deputy coroner. The Fulton County commissioners bid a fond farewell this week to retiring Coroner Darryl Heckman, who is slated to end his 12-year career effective Thursday.

Heckman appeared before commissioners Bonnie Mellott Keefer, David Hoover II and Craig Cutchall on March 30 to share some personal tales of his time as coroner and his retirement plans that will undoubtedly include a lot of “relaxing.” During his visit, Heckman was presented with a limited edition print of the Fulton County Courthouse by artist Kathleen Howell.

Heckman served as deputy coroner for three years prior to being elected to the role of coroner and will be replaced by Chief Deputy Berley Souders.

In speaking with solicitor Stanley Kerlin, the commissioners learned Souders will not have to take an additional oath of office and will keep the title of chief deputy coroner unless Gov. Ed Rendell follows through with an appointment or commission. Souders would in turn maintain that position of chief deputy until the conclusion of 2011, at which time a newly elected coroner would assume the title.

In spite of keeping the title of chief deputy coroner, Souders, however, will be required to complete the duties of coroner and will be paid accordingly.

On the heels of a separate discussion with the county solicitor regarding vacant elected positions, Commissioner Keefer moved that the commissioners unanimously agree to adopt resolution #7 of 2010. The resolution states the Fulton County treasurer will be granted authorization to collect both county and municipal real estate taxes levied in the Valley- Hi Borough.

According to the commissioners, the resolution was adopted in light of no individual being elected Valley-Hi Borough tax collector in November 2009. The resolution will take effect immediately and conclude when a new tax collector is elected.

After discussing who should collect Southern Fulton School District taxes in the Valley-Hi Borough, the commissioners agreed to contact school district officials and apprise them of the tax collector vacancy. The commissioners also noted they would offer tax collection services to the district for Valley-Hi in the event the school is not interested in finding an individual to make the collection on its behalf.

Valley-Hi Borough solicitor Joseph Gothie had reviewed the resolution prior to its adoption and will be sent a signed copy of the document.

Business manager Tim Stanton told the commissioners Fulton County’s 17 participants in CCAP’s Biggest Loser contest took top honors for losing approximately 201 combined pounds. The weight loss represented a total of 5.27 percent of the participants’ overall weight.

Commissioner Keefer told the “News” on April 13 the commissioners will pay for a healthy lunch for the contest participants. At that time, the participants will decide what local charity will receive the $800 in prize money.

The commissioners reviewed the National Association of Counties (NACo) prescription drug discount card program, which has saved county residents $55,001.67 since its inception in July 2007. A total of 2,166 individuals have participated in the discount program.

A request from the Girl Scouts was approved by the county to place ribbons on the courthouse pillars to commemorate Memorial Day.

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