Yardley’s Longtime Tax Collector Returns

By Chris English

It was a short retirement for Cheryl Lowe-Cler.
Lowe-Cler was a tax collector at Yardley Borough for 20 years before deciding to retire and not stand for re-election in 2021. She is back at work after her successor, Melissa Wayne, resigned after at only two months in this position.
Borough Council President David Bria announced at the March 1 meeting that Wayne sent in his resignation to him and Borough Director Paula Johnson in mid-February. He cited family and school obligations as reasons for the resignation, Johnson said.
Wayne was elected to a four-year term in November. By two votes of 6 to 0 at the March 1 meeting, the board accepted Wayne’s resignation and appointed Lowe-Cler to a two-year term as tax collector.
While Wayne was elected to a four-year term, applicable law in the event of a resignation dictates that the office must be up for election again in the next municipal election in 2023, explained borough attorney Ernest Bucky Closer. Lowe-Cler will serve until then.

Bria said the borough is lucky to have someone with her skills and experience who can step in and redo the job for a while.

Wayne’s resignation baffled and annoyed some borough residents.

“It seems irresponsible for someone to run for such an important position and then decide not to,” Dawn Perlmutter said at the March 1 meeting. Neither Wayne nor Lowe-Cler attended the meeting.

In response to a question from another resident, Bria and Johnson said there were no indications of embezzlement or anything else improper in the tax collector’s office and that this was not the reason for Wayne’s resignation. Bria added that Wayne will still be responsible for collecting taxes on invoices she has already sent out this year.

The position involves collecting Yardley, Pennsbury School District and Bucks County and other property taxes from borough residents and business owners. Current pay rates are $10,547 per year from the county, $5,000 per year from the school district, and 3.25% of total borough collections.

Esther L. Steinbach