Treasurer appointment on hold

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — City Council soon will need to have another conversation with regards to the appointment of a treasurer — a similar discussion to one held over several months last year — but Council Chairwoman Cheryl Burke doesn’t expect it any time soon.

“I get the impression there’s a holding pattern being made here,” Burke said.

During a council study session Monday Burke said that interim Treasurer Lynn Cleary had agreed to remain in the office at least until the December tax bills are processed and mailed.

Cleary hoped to be back in Florida by then. In February she accepted the job and was expected to complete the term vacated last year by Wayne Avery — whose early retirement in June 2011 left vacant the position which expires in November 2013. Last month Cleary submitted a letter of resignation which city council voted against filing and receiving.

In lieu of a replacement being appointed, Burke said Cleary agreed to remain in the office until December. When the subject was raised last week, Burke said that council seemed no closer to a long-term decision.

“I tried to bring it up, but no one wanted to deal with it just yet,” Burke said. “But she’s not going to stick us, she’s giving us more time.”

Replacing Avery in the treasurer’s office sparked a months-long political debate last year. The council fielded numerous applications including that of Councilwoman Jacklyn Molner, who was appointed by a majority vote that was twice vetoed by Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand; Molner had not resigned her council seat and Lamarand said the veto was made in order to prevent a conflict with the city charter that prohibits an elected official from holding two positions.

A resignation from Molner never materialized, and the matter went unresolved until this year’s appointment of Cleary, a former school superintendent who had retired and was living in Florida.

Molner has not submitted her name for consideration, although two new applicants emerged: Ed Bourassa and Dan Bzura, who has a financial background and is the principal organizer of the Junior League World Series. No decisions were reached last week regarding applicant interviews, Burke said, and the position may again remain unfilled for an indefinite period.

“We’ll wait until (Cleary) turns in paperwork and says she’s out of here,” Burke said. “I don’t think we should do that, but they don’t want to deal with it.”

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

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