MOUNT CARMEL - Deborah Kaleta, 58, of Mount Carmel, has announced her candidacy for Mount Carmel Borough tax collector. She will seek the Democratic nomination in the primary election.

Kaleta made her decision to run after learning of the current tax collector's decision not to seek re-election following a reduction in compensation.

She stated in a letter to borough council last month, "I would be honored to serve as tax collector at the reduced rate for two reasons," she said. "First, our residents simply cannot afford any further government taxation and accepting the reduced rate would save the taxpayers around $75,000 over the next term of office. Second, I would greatly enjoy spending time assisting our residents with questions and interacting with all of our neighbors on a daily basis."

If elected, Kaleta would open her tax office on North Oak Street where her husband currently has a store ront. She hopes her personality and people skills will resonate with the voters.

"I love working with people and with my family. This is an opportunity to do both and help the borough, school district and county save money," Kaleta said.

She has been employed for the last 18 years, with the Northumberland County Sheriff's Office. Se was originally hired by the late Russell Wolfe, then by the late Charles Berkoski, and currently works for Chad Reiner. Prior to her current employment, she was co-owner of the Tiki Lounge for 11 years and the co-owner of Mr. Mike's Video, both located in Mount Carmel Borough. She is the mother of two children and has four grandchildren.