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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.

jbutler@hillsdale.edu