Council closer to determining next step to fill clerk vacancy

By DANIEL HERATY
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — During a study session Tuesday, City Council members discussed ideas on how to replace City Clerk Judy Dudzinski, who is retiring effective March 31.

Council President Kenneth Baron said advertisements for the upcoming open position would run in local papers Feb. 23, Sunday and next Wednesday. Candidates must submit letters by 3 p.m. Tuesday in order to be considered.

Each candidate will give up to a five-minute presentation at the March 15 meeting, Baron said. According to the city charter, a vacancy would be filled by appointment by a majority of the council. That person then will serve until the next general city, state or national election.

Baron said the only specific requirements are that the candidate be a city resident for two years and a registered voter. The applicant would have to be certified by the State Bureau of Elections, part of the Secretary of State’s Office.

Baron said Mayor Daniel Paletko believed that a representative of the Wayne County Clerk’s Office would have to come in and help guide the new clerk, but Baron said Dudzinski called the county clerk’s office and was told that wasn’t the case, causing some confusion.

Councilors also considered allowing Dudzinski to return on a part-time basis after her retirement; she said she was open to the idea.

Baron said City Treasurer John Riley II could assume some of the duties with a consolidation of the clerk’s office and the treasurer, because some of the same paperwork goes through both offices, such as dog licenses.

“Then they wouldn’t have to go back and forth,” Baron said. “We have to look at all aspects of the government.”

Some work already has been done concerning the two upcoming school elections in May, he said, adding that it’s fortunate there isn’t a presidential or gubernatorial election this year.
“The burden is slower than normal,” Baron said.