Voters to weigh in on clerk-treasurer position in Troy referendum

By Dave Fidlin


While plans are in motion for the Town of Troy to combine the clerk and treasurer position into one, voters will decide how the position is filled in a referendum question on next week’s ballot.

In June, the Town Board drafted a tentative ordinance that sets in motion the combined position. The referendum question asks voters to authorize the board to appoint a person to serve as clerk-treasurer.

A “yes” vote is for the clerk-treasurer to be appointed; a “no” is a vote for the clerk-treasurer to be elected in April of 2013.

For a community with a population of about 2,300 people, electing a qualified person to the position could be challenging – a reason there has been advocacy in the community toward giving the board authority to appoint a person to the position.

“If the residents agree with the question, it gives (the board) a broader range of qualified people that we can seek out,” Town Chairman John Kendall said.

If plans do move forward, the board would create a position description that would list desired qualifications in the areas of education and experience.

Other identified advantages through the appointment method include flexibility with the position. While there are some requirements that must be followed to the letter of the law because of state statutes, the person filling the position could have adjusted hours.

Additionally, an appointment method would mean the person is accountable directly to the board, meaning any performance issues could be dealt with directly, said Kendall.

But appointing a person to the position is not a guarantee the transition would go smoothly. For example, there is the potential the town would have to pay more to find a qualified applicant. Also, there could be a learning curve for the person filling the position if the board casts its net outside the town’s boundaries.

Throughout the past four months of discussing the future of the clerk-treasurer position, several advantages and disadvantages also have been cited with the election process.

As with any other elected position, the method would ensure the person filling the position is a resident of the town. On the flip side, the election method also presents its share of uncertainty – particularly when it comes to qualifications to fill the position.

An election method also takes the board out of the process of determining a working schedule, set hours and minimum hours for the position. If the position is elected, the board will not have a direct say in performance issues, should any crop up.

Also, if performance were to become an issue, a person could not be recalled from the position until a year in the position – a procedure outlined in other elected positions.

In the months leading up to Tuesday’s Nov. 6 referendum, Kendall said he and other board members have served in an education capacity, but have steered clear of advocating for one scenario over the other.

“I just want to get the important information out there and let the people decide,” Kendall said. “It’s in their hands.”

Regardless of how it is filled, the combined clerk-treasurer position will take effect in April.

                  “We urge all electors from the Town of Troy to carefully consider this question and vote on Nov. 6,” said Kendall.

                  Town of Troy electors vote in the Town Hall, N8870 Briggs St., Troy Center.

                  Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.





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