Resignation leaves city in search of treasurer

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — City administration will again undergo change after Treasurer Lynn Cleary submitted a letter of resignation during the Sept. 4 meeting of the city council.

Cleary’s decision came six months after the former Lincoln Consolidated Schools superintendent was appointed to the post, vacated in June 2011 by Wayne Avery. In a letter read during last week’s council meeting, Cleary said she had no regrets but wanted to return to the retirement she was enjoying in Florida before accepting the treasurer position in February.

Cleary’s resignation letter will be read into the record Tuesday, after which the council will begin consideration of appointing a successor.

Cleary had agreed to serve the remainder of the term held by Avery, which expires after the November 2013 general election. Cleary said she will remain in the position until the end of October to help transition a new treasurer if appointed by then.

Taylor Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand said he wasn’t surprised at Cleary’s announcement.

“Working with her daily, she made her feelings known well and often of her desire to go back to being retired,” Lamarand said. “She stepped in and wanted to help the city, and thought she could be of benefit, but from another standpoint hadn’t been able to accomplish everything. It’s a crazy dynamic, and she realizes it’s not a situation she could help.”

Lamarand said that during her brief tenure, Cleary succeeded in collecting overdue property taxes from businesses — “a significant amount,” Lamarand said — to help boost city coffers, but that her desire to return to retirement proved too strong.

Cleary’s appointment to the post ended months of disagreements among council. Last year the city attempted to fill the position by appointing Councilwoman Jacklyn Molner, which was twice vetoed by Lamarand due to conflict of interest. Molner did not resign her council seat prior to accepting the treasurer post, and city charter prohibits the holding of two offices.

Council Chairwoman Cheryl Burke said that the sudden departure sends an unflattering signal regarding the state of the city, and although Cleary did admirable work, the appointment never should have been made.

“It’s embarrassing for the council to be in his position again,” Burke said. “I’m sorry she’s not staying because she’s already there and it would be easier to finish than to bring another one in.”

The abrupt departure is yet another transition in city administration. In June clerk Mary Ann Rilley notified the city she would be taking early retirement effective July 1; Rilley began serving as clerk in August 2003. Cynthia Bower was named Rilley’s successor until the term expires in November 2013.

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