Treasurer position remains vacant; no majority reached to appoint Molner

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR – Appointing the city’s new treasurer will wait yet another meeting following a motion last week that failed to gain approval by a majority of the city council.

By the time the council next meets Sept. 20, it will have been three months since Wayne Avery resigned from office; Avery was unchallenged during the 2009 election and served 16 years as treasurer.

Last month, four council members approved the appointment of councilwoman Jacklyn Molner: John Delo, Rick Sollars, Dennis Stapleton and Suanne Weycker. That vote on Aug. 16 was vetoed three days later by Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand, who cited the absence of Molner’s resignation from city council in a letter dated Aug. 19. City charter prohibits an official from holding two elected positions.

During Tuesday’s meeting, chair Cheryl Burke again raised the issue of appointing a treasurer. A roll-call vote was against taken for each of three candidates, Molner, former treasurer Fred Kemp, and Timothy Witz.

Molner was again supported by Delo, Solars and Stapleton, but Weycker was absent and a majority of the elected panel is needed to confirm an appointment. Burke and chair pro-tem Jill Brandana voted in favor of Kemp. Molner abstained from voting on the question, and sat at the council dais although she was not listed as a member of the panel on the printed agenda or on the city’s web site, where she remains featured as treasurer.

Molner did not resign from council at Tuesday’s meeting.

If appointed, Molner pledged to waive any increase to pension benefits she is eligible for after 14 years on council. The potential for an elected official to enhance retirement benefits by accepting another appointed or elected position was subject to a council debate that spanned several meetings in the wake of Avery’s resignation.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

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