The need for a temporary replacement for the city clerk position after the resignation of city clerk Julie Kast led to the Hillsdale City Council discussing whether clerk should be an appointed position instead of elected.
Councilperson Brian Watkins, acting as mayor pro tem in the absence of Hillsdale Mayor Doug Moon, said that he would prefer the position of city clerk to be an appointed rather than an elected position.
“Someone who shouldn’t run elections at all could get into a position that runs them,” Watkins said.
Councilperson Wolfram recommended a motion to discuss this idea further in the Operation and Governance Committee, which the council approved.
The council also approved a trial extension of Dial-A-Ride, a Hillsdale County service that has provided transportation to Wal-Mart for Hillsdale residents, until it is no longer needed or wanted. Judy Buzo, the dispatcher and coordinator for Dial-A-Ride in Hillsdale County, said she recommended it do so.
“It’s not really interfering with anything, so I recommend we keep doing it,” she said.
Watkins said that he acknowledged the importance of the service to its users.
“I know that not a lot of people use it, but those who do really appreciate it,” Watkins said.
City Council approved other arrangements including a lease of Industrial Park farmland to resident Brian Fix, and a renewal of the city’s $5,500 contract with Domestic Harmony, a charitable organization providing shelter and services to victims of sexual abuse.
Brown said that Domestic Harmony’s contract had already been approved for fiscal year 2013, so the extension would be for fiscal year 2014.
Julia Benning, a representative of Domestic Harmony, said that the contract was very important to her organization.
“For 33 years, Domestic Harmony has been the only shelter in Hillsdale city limits for victims of sexual violence, assault, and stalking. Seventy percent of our calls come from Hillsdale residents.”
Benning said that, without the contract, her organization would be forced to curtail services.
Watkins said that he appreciated the organization’s services.
“It’s good to know that we’ve got something locally that will do those things,” Watkins said.