Status of clerk’s pay tabled until November

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WAPELLA — The Wapella village board was about to vote Tuesday to continue its current clerk as an hourly employee.  But trustees felt the temporary measure should be discontinued.

The board was about to vote to hire current acting clerk Max Schwartz when discussion turned to the difference between a hired clerk and one the board appoints.  As a hired position, the clerk receives an hourly rate; an appointed clerk is paid a monthly salary.

Board president Bryan Atwood was in the process of introducing a motion to hire Schwartz at $13.50 an hour when trustees interrupted to question why Schwartz would not be sworn in as an appointee.

Atwood said Schwartz would lose money if appointed rather than hired.

“If you’re doing this for the money, you’re doing it for the wrong reason,” said trustee Mandy Huff.

Huff and other trustees pointed out that the village went more than $13,000 over budget in the previous fiscal year for clerk wages.  Normally, the clerk receives about $6,864 a year performing the clerk and collector jobs, $350 a month as clerk, $222 a month as collector, according to information read by the village attorney from the ordinance

Under the previous board president, more pay was authorized for the clerk on a temporary basis to correct some village record keeping problems.  But, on Tuesday, trustees said those problems were now solved, so the temporary situation was now finished.

Atwood felt, however, that Schwartz’s pay should not be reduced.

“She’s been doing a great job,” Atwood said.

Trustee Sherry Mears said since the problems were solved, “it shouldn’t take so many hours up here.”

Atwood asked to table the matter until the board’s November meeting.