Salted with Sharks

Council Votes to Reinstate Sharyn Bower to Temporary Clerk Position

In Breaking, Community Alert, Gov't Watch, Village Money Situation on December 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm

December 10, 2013

Full audio of meeting 

Village Community Building—In a four to three vote during a special meeting tonight, the Village Council decided to hire recently retired Village clerk Sharyn Bower back to the clerk’s position at two days a week, minus the benefits she requested in her application letter, received December 6. The special meeting notice was posted Monday, December 9, at 11:45 am. Gretchen Eichberger, a resident of Frankfort, had also applied for the job, and postmaster Sue Oseland applied for the job today.

Letter from Sharyn Bower fowarded to council members by email by treasurer Laura Manville. Forwarded to the Alert by Jennifer Wilkins.

Letter from Sharyn Bower fowarded to council members by email by treasurer Laura Manville. Forwarded to the Alert by Jennifer Wilkins.

Several members of the public were in attendance at the meeting on this very cold night: Art Melendez, Emily Votruba, Holly O’Dwyer, Mark Held, Sue Oseland, and Christeen Kibby-Crawford. Sharyn Bower was not present. Laura Manville took minutes. All members of council were present. The vote was Reggie Manville, Ken Holme, Joyce Gatrell, and Robin Rommell for Sharyn’s appointment; Diane Jenks, Linda Manville, and Jennifer Wilkins against.

Diane and Linda brought up the fact that the position had not been posted anywhere except Facebook (on the Alert page), whereas the new council member position had been. Reggie said he thought people knew the position was open. He said after the November council meeting he had learned from the Michigan Municipal League that the job did not need to be posted but that it was necessary for the applicant to be a Village resident to be considered. This contrasted with what Treasury department rep Eric Cline had said during the November meeting. Reg said because of this information from MML, he had not contacted anyone in surrounding townships about the job, as had been decided at the last meeting, but had instead decided to wait three weeks and see who applied.

Robin asked Sue some questions about her application and whether she would be willing to work just two days per week. Sue said she would. Diane Jenks asked about Sue’s web skills. Sue said she had experience updating business websites, was already updating the Elberta Farmers Market page on the Village site, had experience working with databases. She allowed as how she could not “build” a database or a website from scratch. Sharyn Bower at the time of her retirement was having Emily Votruba upload minutes to the Village website on a volunteer basis.

Jennifer Wilkins and Diane Jenks expressed concern that Sharyn had begun missing days of work before she formally retired and had written in her retirement letter that the job had become too stressful for her health. They said that with the upcoming deadlines (the Deficit Reduction Plan deadline, December 5, already passed) for deficit reduction and policies and procedures, the clerk job would likely only get more stressful.

Ken Holmes and Robin Rommell said they thought Sharyn’s 18 years of experience qualified her to return to the position.

Diane mentioned that a part-time hire wouldn’t normally receive any benefits; Sharyn had requested “a prorated reimbursement on my health insurance.” Robin asked to remove her motion that Sharyn be appointed and made a motion to appoint Sharyn to the position at two  8 hour days a week, $16.96/hr, without the health insurance payment as part of the compensation. The motion passed.

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