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Milford 2014 Candidate Profile: Theresa Diomedes Dias, Tax Collector

Get a deeper look at who's running in this year's contested races for the Milford Town Election.

Theresa Diomedes Dias. Credit: File Photo.
Theresa Diomedes Dias. Credit: File Photo.

Editor's Note: The following profile is part of a series highlighting the candidates running for seats in contested races as part of this year's town election, which takes place on Tuesday, April 1. Milford Patch has reached out to all candidates in the contested races to showcase why they're running and what they hope to bring to the board. Check back leading up to the election for more profiles on the candidates.

Theresa Diomedes Dias is running for the position of Milford Tax Collector along with Melissa Alves-Tomas. For the full preliminary ballot for this year's election, click here.

Why are you running for the role of Tax Colelctor?   

I have worked in the Tax Collector's office for six years under retired Tax Collector, Paula Fortin. I was appointed Acting Tax Collector unanimously by the Board of Selectmen. Prior to this position, I worked as the Assistant to the Assessor Administrator. I enjoy and would like to continue to serve this community and provide the taxpayers with an experienced person that has proven she is capable of doing the job and can provide Milford tax payers with the service they have come to expect. I have formed many relationships with the residents of Milford and enjoy interacting and helping them on a daily basis.  I plan to continue to maintain the 99 percent collection rate of taxes along with working with people that have fallen on hard times to get their past due taxes up to date. I have the experience and education in Tax Collection and Assessing which makes me the only qualified candidate for Tax Collector. 

What do you hope to accomplish?  

The most pressing issue currently for the Tax Collector’s job is replacing the computers that we are currently trying to keep running. The IT study that was just completed stated that the Tax Collector's office is one of the offices which should receive new computers because of the age and capacity of what we are currently working with. This study shows that the Tax Collector’s office is one of the many offices in the town that requires updated technology. A good manager needs to be able to work with a tight budget and prioritize what updates can be made with the money available.

What do you see is the most pressing issue facing Milford right now in relation to the seat for which you're running?  

The most pressing issues for Milford, in my opinion right now, are the computers used not only in the Tax Collector’s Office, but in other offices as well.

What do you think you could do to help resolve this issue?  

I will continue to work with the Town Administrator, the Finance Committee, and the IT Committee to resolve the issue pertaining to the computers.

Name one unique idea you would like to bring to the table if elected in April. 

I have just successfully negotiated and implemented on line payments for the town’s taxpayers. This may not be unique, but it has been something the taxpayers have been asking for. I will continue to listen to the taxpayers to see what else they would like to see from the Tax Collector’s Office that would benefit them. I would like to research the idea of e-billing. I would like to see how many towns have implemented this, what the pros and cons are, what is the cost to implement a program of this type and possibly survey the taxpayers and see if there is interest in this.

What is one thing voters might not know about you? 

I am a lifelong resident of Milford with family roots going back ninety years. I am married and have one grown son. I love spending time with my family who mean so much to me along with my lifelong friends that I cherish. I have been a volunteer at the Milford Food Pantry for twenty years. I am half Italian and half Portuguese. My mother was born and raised at Prospect Heights and has five sisters and one brother, who was the first Mayor of the Heights, Oracio “Flash” Moreira. My father, the late Antonio Diomedes, who was a Marine who fought in the Korean War, was raised on Pond Street and was one of five children.

George March 25, 2014 at 04:06 PM
On another note, an assistant being appointed to fill an unexpired term is nothing for Theresa to brag about. It happens all the time. When the previous building inspector retired, the assistant was appointed interim. When the previous town accountant retired, the assistant was named interim. The fire chief is retiring, the deputy is being promoted. All of those appointment were probably unanimous. Promoting the assistant to interim is not an endorsement on the part of the selectmen; it is simply the most effective way to keep the office functioning. And "The most pressing issues for Milford, in my opinion right now, are the computers..." I guess computers are more important than getting Woodland built on time/on budget and deciding whether to purchase the water company.
Hannah March 25, 2014 at 05:17 PM
Most agencies that hire tax collectors require job candidates to have at least a bachelor's degree. Does she have any educational background? Or is she just using her assistant experience as her platform..
Amanda Ashlee March 25, 2014 at 06:01 PM
George- the question said what is the biggest issue in Milford in RELATION TO THE SEAT Theresa is running for ... In relation to the tax collectors office, they need computers. The issues you mentioned are absolutely very important. But the question asked to answer in relation to the seat she is running for. As for your other comments, yes promoting Theresa to acting tax collector was the best way to keep the office up and running. And continuing to keep her in this job will continue to keep the office running well. Training a new Tax Collector with no tax collection or assessing experience will take a lot of time and money we as tax payers don't need or want to be spending. There is a lot more than your average person thinks there is to tax taking. You have to have a vast knowledge of assessing as well as tax taking. Theresa's opponent has never worked in the Assessors office or the tax collectors office. Theresa requires no training because she was trained already by former tax collector Paula Fortin who has written her letters of recommendation which can be seen in the newspaper. I don't believe Theresa is bragging about becoming acting tax collector, I believe her experience in both the tax collectors and Assessors office plus her 22 years in banking is what she is running on. Not to mention all the classes she has taken to be able to fufil this job and understand every aspect on the tax collection process. To throw somebody into the Tax Collectors job because they hold a bachelors degree and can speak a different language is simply irresponsible and plain silly. Theresa is the right candidate for the job her experience and years on the job along with the classes she has taken which are specifically designed towards tax taking is incomparable.
Raymond Fellows March 26, 2014 at 07:29 AM
I didn't NEGATE anything, in a list of importance for this job, that is not high on my list. Its like the stuff you put at the bottom of your CV. I value experience and Theresa has it. I don't know either of them, its not personal. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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