Cairie Virrueta will take over as county’s Register of Deeds

By Kellen Olshefski

Correspondent

The City of Elkhorn Common Council voted unanimously in favor of accepting City Clerk Cairie Virrueta’s resignation Monday night. Virrueta has been appointed to the position of Walworth County Register of Deeds. The council also voted in favor of promoting Deputy Clerk Lacey Reynolds to the Clerk position.

Virrueta, who has been the City Clerk since 2014 was recently appointed to the Register of Deeds position by Governor Tony Evers. She is set to begin her new role on April 6 and April 3 will mark her final day with the City of Elkhorn.

However, Virrueta said, she will most definitely assist Lacey Reynolds with the April 7 Spring Election and Presidential Preference.

In her resignation letter, Virrueta said it was a difficult decision to make, as she has appreciated the opportunity to serve the city in this capacity and has enjoyed working with councilmembers and staff alike.

Mayor Howie Reynolds thanked Virrueta for her service at Monday’s meeting.

In looking to fill the vacancy, City Administrator Jim Heilman recommended appointing Deputy Clerk Lacey Reynolds to serve as City Clerk due to Virrueta’s departure.

In his memo to the Council, Heilman said he feels Lacey Reynolds has all of the qualifications needed to be a successful City Clerk and the City is fortunate to have a qualified candidate already within it’s administration.

Mayor Howie Reynolds said that in discussing the topic with Heilman, Lacey Reynolds has already been going through the training and as a result, both he and Heilman thought it would be a seamless transition if the Council were to appoint Lacey Reynolds as Clerk.

While all of the councilmembers agreed Lacey Reynolds is qualified for the position, not all of them agreed the City should appoint her to the position permanently.

Several councilmembers agreed the City should appoint Lacey Reynolds but on an interim basis for now along with posting a job listing to allow other applicants to apply for the position. They claimed that’s how the city has handled such opening in the past.

However, administration noted that appointing Lacey Reynolds on an interim basis and posting for the job would put the front office in a tough spot.

“I guess my thinking was I’m not sure what we gain by going out to the public when I already have somebody who I feel is well qualified to do it,” Heilman said. “We also know that she works well in our office.”

Mayor Howie Reynolds explained that the front office is already dealing with a greater workload. Additionally, employees have more responsibilities as former City Administrator Sam Tapson was never replaced.

Ultimately, the Council voted 4-3 in favor of appointing Lacey Reynolds to the City Clerk position, with Mayor Howie Reynolds casting the deciding vote.

Lacey Reynolds will receive three weeks of “intense training” from Virrueta before her departure. Lacey Reynolds will be placed in charge of the April election but Virrueta will be available to assist her during that process.

 
 

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