TOWN OF LINN — To focus on preparations for a town clerk election in April, the Linn Town Board has postponed talks on whether to create a town administrator position.
At a Dec. 27 special town board meeting, supervisors planned to discuss job descriptions for three positions — town clerk, treasurer and administrator.
However, the board decided to focus on outlining the clerk’s role because officials face an approaching deadline for election preparations. The parameters for elected positions must be decided by Jan. 2 — the deadline for candidates to register for the April election.
“Why don’t we hone in on the clerk here?” Town Chairman Jim Weiss suggested to the board. “Because that is more of a timing issue for anyone that wishes to take papers out.”
Weiss said the board planned to rekindle the administrator discussions after the Jan. 2 election deadline.
The town recently decided to separate the combined clerk/treasurer position into two jobs, with voters electing a clerk and the town board appointing a treasurer, although the treasurer position could be expanded to include town administrator.
After an hour of discussion at the Dec. 27 meeting, supervisors decided they want the new clerk to hold a part-time position with a salary of about $25,000 a year.
The clerk position will appear on the April 2 election ballot, with Jan. 2 as the deadline for candidates to register.
The restructuring of town personnel is happening at the advice of Town Attorney James Duquette, who told the board in December that a 2016 ordinance split the clerk and treasurer roles in Linn. Electors reversed the ordinance shortly after it passed, but Duquette saw the reversal as invalid under state law.
He advised the supervisors to follow the ordinance by making the treasurer an appointed position, independent from the elected clerk. Supervisors heeded his advice, and amidst the changes, some board members saw an opportunity to also hire a town administrator.
Supervisor Alex Palmer said that Sue Polyock, the current clerk/treasurer, already performs many administrative duties, and that the town will need effective replacement staff after she steps down.
Polyock, who has served as clerk/treasurer since 1991, has decided not to run for the clerk’s position in 2019, and she said she will not seek the treasurer’s position, either.
However, Polyock voiced support for the board’s decisions, and she supports combining the treasurer job with an administrator.
“I’ve always felt that it was a good idea,” she said.
Polyock’s clerk/treasurer service will end in April, but she will continue to serve as Linn’s municipal court clerk.