Council votes to hire new city clerk

By DANIEL HERATY
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS – A new city clerk soon will be on the job.

City Council members voted Tuesday to appoint Walter Prusiewicz, 53, a retired contract and human resources manager, to replace City Clerk Judy Dudzinski.

“I’m excited about being given the opportunity to service the city,” he said Wednesday.

The vote came after an application process that concluded with five candidates, Michelle Doumont, James Lynch, Thea Daniels and Deborah Tutro.

Each member of the council cast their vote for one of the five candidates. Prusiewicz received three votes, Dumont received two and Lynch received one.

Prusiewicz, a city resident, said he has no immediate plans for his new job, but that he expects to meet with Mayer Daniel Paletko, Dudzinski and council members before starting April 1.

Councilwoman Marge Horvath changed her vote from Dumont to allow for Prusiewicz’s appointment in order to “put an end to the conversation.” There was not a consensus vote, and no one received a majority.

There was a suggestion that there be more discussions, but Council President Kenneth Baron said there have been two already, and that Dudzinski would help out with the process of transitioning to a new clerk until she retires March 31.

Councilman Ned Apigian said he was opposed to the process, and the appointment could be costly and too involved for someone who may come in only for a short period of time. He chose not to vote for any of the candidates.

“We have an election coming up,” Apigian said. “There’s only 49 days before anybody that wants to run for this position has to pull petitions and have those petitions in.”

Councilman Tom Berry said a plan needed to be in place so someone could take office on April 1, and that by not voting, Apigian essentially was voting intentionally for someone who is not a solid candidate.

Prusiewicz declined to comment about the process for appointing a new clerk, but praised his predecessor.

“I wish her the best,” he said. “She’s done a wonderful job.”

(Daniel Heraty can be reached at dheraty@bewickpublications.com.)