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MCDONALD Council removes tax administrator



Published: Thu, September 12, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The tax administrator believes some village officials wanted someone else for the job.

By JASON FUTEY

VINDICATOR CORRESPONDENT

McDONALD -- Village council voted 5-1 to remove village income tax administrator Barbara Urban.

Council members and village officials met in executive session for about 20 minutes Wednesday to discuss what Council President Thomas B. Hart termed "personnel matters and possible litigation."

When council reconvened, Mayor James W. Border asked council members to support his decision to remove Urban.

"I think it's the best thing for the village, and it's in the best interest of the village," Border added.

There was little public discussion of the issue.

Councilman Michael J. O'Brien said he felt council should take no action regarding Urban before giving her a fair hearing.

"She's not entitled to one," councilwoman Rose Yakubov said.

"I said I don't care if she's entitled to a hearing," O'Brien shot back. "We owe it to her to give her a fair hearing."

O'Brien cast the sole vote against the motion to remove Urban, who was not present at the meeting.

After the vote, Border said he wanted it to be known that he had spoken with Urban earlier Wednesday and offered her the chance to resign.

Border would say little about the reasons behind Urban's dismissal.

"I really think it's the best thing for all parties involved," he said. "And I mean including her."

Failed to fulfill duties

Yakubov said Urban had failed to fulfill her duties as tax administrator, citing about $180,000 in income tax owed by contractors and subcontractors who worked on the village's school renovation and construction projects that Urban failed to collect.

The councilwoman also cited Urban's sale of a village-owned fax machine and failure to properly train an administrative assistant assigned to her office as factors in her removal.

Village clerk Wendy Kosovec, the administrative assistant Urban is accused of failing to train, will take over as income tax administrator.

Urban said she feels efforts to remove her were spearheaded by Yakubov and village solicitor William M. Roux.

"I think it's a personal vendetta," Urban said in an earlier interview.

Urban said the fax machine in question was broken and had been replaced with a new one when she agreed to sell the old machine to receptionist Donna Ferraro for $10 last April.

"It's ridiculous that they're wasting precious time on this kind of stuff," she said. "I just feel I'm being railroaded. They want to give Wendy my job."

Urban also disputes the claim that she failed to properly train Kosovec, and insists that she has tried to follow up with contractors to collect the village income tax they owe.

"To be honest, [leaving the post] is probably going to be a blessing in disguise because I would never leave the job willingly, I love it so much," Urban concluded. "Politics takes a toll on you, though."




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