Clay Township to review resumes for clerk position in special meeting

By Tony Wittkowski | Local Government Reporter | The Times Herald

Clay Township Board of Trustees has scheduled a special workshop meeting Friday to review candidates for the vacant township clerk position.

The position was vacated Feb. 17 by Lisa White, who was charged with a 20-year felony for embezzling $100,000 or more by a public official.

The special workshop meeting will be 1 p.m. Friday at the township hall, 4710 Point Tremble Drive.

Township Supervisor Artie Bryson said the township had 12 applicants as of Tuesday. The board will continue to accept applications until 6 p.m. Thursday.

“The clerk’s position is key to running the day-to-day business of the township,” Bryson said. “Without a presence of a clerk it’s been challenging for myself and the staff at the township to make it all happen.”

Bryson said the staff has been divvying up the responsibilities of township clerk.

“I don’t expect anybody to do the job right on day one,” he said. “It’s going to take a fair amount of training for that person to do the job properly.”

County Clerk Jay DeBoyer said the board has 45 days to appoint a new clerk once the position is made vacant. If a clerk is not chosen within that time frame, a special election would be called and held in May.

Bryson said he thinks it would be better if the township finds its next clerk as soon as possible, rather than let it go to election.

“We are not going to make our final decision on Friday,” he said. “I hope we can narrow it down to a couple of people, and, at best, we’ll make the final decision on March 16 at our normal board meeting.”

Applicants must be a registered voter in Clay Township to qualify. The new clerk would finish White’s remaining term, which ends November 2016.

The position has about $55,000 annual salary, plus benefits, Bryson said. When White was in office, she was the highest paid of the elected officials in the township.

Police have said White stole $131,000 from the township between 2009 and 2014, padding the incomes she and her husband received as members of the fire department and she received as clerk.

In October, Clay Township said it expected it would face about $700,000 in fines from the Internal Revenue Service because of errors made in the clerk’s office.

Bryson began a petition to recall White. That became moot when she resigned Feb. 17.

Anyone who wants to apply can drop a resume and cover letter off at the township hall or email Bryson at supervisor@claytownship.org.

Contact Tony Wittkowski at (810) 989-6270 or twittkowsk@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on March 4, 2015)

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