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Hilltown Archives The Altamont Enterprise, October 15, 2009
Clerk and tax collector are unopposed in Knox
By Zach Simeone
KNOX Town Clerk Kimberly Swain and Tax Collector Delia “Barney” Palombo are running unopposed this fall.
Swain, 31, a Republican, has been clerk for four years, and is running for her third term. In addition to the GOP line, she is also on the Democratic, Independence, and Conservative lines.
“I enjoy being the town clerk, and I enjoy helping the residents of Knox,” Swain said. She has lived in Knox her whole life.
When she is not filling the needs of town residents, she is home with her children.
“I first ran because somebody asked me to run, and, after a lot of consideration, I said ‘Well, I’ll give it a shot,’” Swain said. “Honestly, I didn’t think I’d win the first election, so, I was surprised, but very happy at the time.”
Swain tries to be available when it’s convenient for residents, she said, and provides a variety of services.
“A lot of it is notary services,” Swain said. “Generally, if people are requesting information, they’ll come into the town hall, or they call me at home for information. I try and help them out as best I can from home. Sometimes, people will call me up and tell me they need a dog license, but they can’t make it during my normal hours.”
Knox is the only Hilltown with a part-time clerk. Swain’s hours at town hall are Monday and Tuesday, from 6 to 8 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon; the Saturday hours are not kept between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
“I try to make myself available throughout the day on different days of the week,” Swain said. “What I’ve learned since I’ve been in the position is a lot of clerks are also the tax collector, and they also do the vital statistics.”
Delia Palombo, a Democrat, is 87 and retired. She has been the tax collector for Knox since 1982.
She and her late husband, Harry, owned the Township Tavern. Harry Palombo died in 1981, and she sold the restaurant in 1987.
While growing up in Massachusetts, Palombo attended school through 10th grade. She then moved to Knox in 1956, and has lived there since. She is a member of the Altamont Seniors and attends St. Bernadette’s Church in Berne. She is a former member of the ladies’ auxiliary.
Palombo said she is running again because she enjoys her job and meeting people. She no longer drives a car, so residents come to her house and call each day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., she said, to learn how much they paid the previous year or to obtain copies of receipts they have lost. She is also at Town Hall three Saturdays in January from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., she said.
“Eventually, our office will be up at the new town hall,” Palombo said. “Right now, there’s no room.”
Palombo’s deputy, Lee Martin, assists her with the tax collection.
“I do the bookwork, and she does all the computer work for me,” Palombo said.
One thing she enjoys about her job is meeting people, she said.
“If people have questions, they ask, and they’re very polite and friendly,” she said. “And it’s nice having them come to my home. I’m looking forward to serving a few more years. After these 30 years, I hope to do more. As long as they’ll let me do it, I want to do it.”