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The Knucklehead of the Day award

Today's winner is South Attleboro City Collector Debora Marcoccio. She gets the award for the following-

ATTLEBORO - A 74-year-old blind woman has been told a lien will be put on her South Attleboro home if she doesn't come up with a penny she owes on an outstanding utility bill.

Eileen Wilbur, of Glenn Street, said she discovered the notice of the potential lien after her daughter, Rose Brederson, came over to read her mail.

"It's so upsetting," Wilbur said. "It sent my blood pressure up so high."

The city sent Wilbur a letter dated Nov. 10 stating that if the 1 cent balance is not paid by Dec. 10, the city will assess a lien of up to $48 on Wilbur's next property tax bill.

"They wasted taxpayer money on the letter," Wilbur said, noting the 42-cent charge for a stamp. South Attleboro resident Eileen Wilbur's bill from the city is for one penny.

City Collector Debora Marcoccio said the bill was sent out along with more than 2,000 others as the city tries to recoup outstanding balances before resorting to putting liens on property.

A computer automatically printed the letters for any account with a balance remaining, and they were not reviewed by staff before being sent out, Marcoccio said.

"It would be fiscally irresponsible for me to have staff weed through the bills and pull out any below a certain amount," Marcoccio said. " And what would that amount be?"

According to the letter, the outstanding balance stems from a water and sewer bill from fiscal year 2008, which ran from July 2007 to July 2008.

I make a bet there's a feature in whatever software that is used by Ms. Marcoccio's office that allows sorting by amounts. Hell Microsoft Money does it. Either the office people don't know it or are too lazy to use it. Asking for government efficiency is too much. Therefore you get someone spending 42 times the amount of a particular bill to try to collecting it or a state lottery spending a million dollars contesting a $5 winning lotto ticket.

Marcoccio said that before lien notices are sent out, the city sends out bills for the outstanding balance.

"My question is, how come it wasn't paid when the bills went out?" she said.

In the meantime, the city is holding firm on the amount due.

Marcoccio, who called the whole situation "ridiculous," said the city will not waive the balance.

"If there's a bill, it must be paid," she said

Take the penny out of your desk drawer South Attleboro City Collector Debora Marcoccio. It is worth about as much as your brain and your managerial skills put together and why I name you today's Knucklehead of the Day.


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Comments (7)

Nah... She should OVERPAY h... (Below threshold)

Nah... She should OVERPAY her bill by a penny. Make them send her ANOTHER letter, with a check, refunding her overpaid amount... But, nah. This IS a government after all. She'd probably get a fine for making a(nother) mockery of the system.....

Amazingly enough, even in t... (Below threshold)

Amazingly enough, even in this neanderthal age, there exist Accounts Receivable programs that can check and automatically write off pre-set amounts that are too small to collect. It's really simple to add a module like that into an A/R package, and make a decision that anything under, say $5.00 saves more money by writing it off than by trying to collect it.

Attleboro might want to check out something like that. Could save them not only money, but embarrassment, too. Idiots.

"My question is, how come i... (Below threshold)

"My question is, how come it wasn't paid when the bills went out?"

Eh - sounds like the stupid, gubmint douchenozzle has potential for Federal-level bureaucracy. Maybe their A/R system goes to 3 decimals (rounding error); maybe the woman misread a '9' for an '8'. Could be lots of explanations, but none can explain the behavior of the gubmint wank-ette on the case.

Maybe it's time to upgrade 'Knucklehead of the Day" to "Moron of the Month."

I think it's time for a lit... (Below threshold)

I think it's time for a little charity. If someone could come up with an address, I will gladly send a penny to be applied to Eileen Wilbur's account. Of course I will request a receipt so I can claim the "charitable deduction" on my taxes. Heck, I might even send a penny from a bunch of my friends.

There must be a high-level ... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

There must be a high-level position available for Ms. Marcoccio in The Messiah's administration. She'd fit right in.

Can Someone let me know the... (Below threshold)

Can Someone let me know the address of this organization. I'd like to send them my 2c

These are the people who wi... (Below threshold)

These are the people who wind up running for congress! We have something to look forward to.






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