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Published: Thursday, 5/29/2003

Fayette considers creating fiscal job

BY JANE SCHMUCKER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

FAYETTE - Village voters might have one less chance to cast a vote.

Village council is considering creating a fiscal officer position appointed by the mayor and eliminating the elected clerk-treasurer position.

Fayette is the second Fulton County village to consider formally such a change this spring; Metamora council is to take a final vote on a similar motion Monday. Archbold and Delta made a similar change years ago and Lyons is mulling the idea.

Fayette council is expected to vote June 26 on the ordinance that was introduced last week.

“We don't want someone running for that position who is unqualified,” Mayor Rod Sommers said. “If someone runs unopposed who's not qualified, they vote for themselves and they're in.”

The village's former clerk-treasurer, Phillip McKinney, typically was unopposed in elections.

If the ordinance passes, Mayor Sommers said he plans to appoint a fiscal officer to start Jan. 1.

Mr. McKinney, who was in his 18th years as clerk-treasurer, died this month.

Fayette is the second Fulton County village to consider such a change this spring.

Metamora council is expected to decide Monday whether to eliminate the elected office of clerk-treasurer and replace it with a fiscal officer, who would be hired by council. If it passes, the measure would be effective in January. Clerk-treasurer Karin Sauerlender's term expires March 31.

The change is being considered because councilmen worried that a clerk-treasurer with little training or experience could win an election, Susan Clendenin, deputy clerk, has said.

In Lyons, village administrator Vicki Neumeyer said she expects a similar measure to be introduced this year. Archbold dropped its elected position in the late 1990s and Delta's charter which took effect in 2001 calls for a hired finance director.

Delta's elected clerk-treasurer, Valerie Edwards, is expected to complete her term which ends March 31 and then be considered by council for the hired position.

Swanton appears to be the only Fulton County village that has not formally considered such a change.



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