Katy Price was sworn in by the Hillsdale City Council to the position of interim city clerk following the resignation of former City Clerk Stephen French at the Nov. 19 City Council meeting.
Price held the position of city assessor and was unanimously appointed by the council to fill in the position until a city clerk is found.
French submitted his letter of resignation just a few days after the Nov. 6 general election, which then took effect immediately.
At the meeting, the council disputed the reasons behind his resignation after Greg Stuchell, the council member from Ward 1, alleged that French’s resignation “wasn’t given voluntarily.”
Mayor Adam Stockford replied at the meeting that while French’s resignation was voluntary, “Yes, he was pressured to resign by me.”
Stockford said he informed French that he had the right to come before the council before his termination as stated in the city charter, but French instead decided to resign.
French was recently in the news for accepting the paperwork of Peter Jennings for the Ward 1 Council seat election, even though Jennings had not met the city charter’s durational residency requirement.
French received a severance package of two weeks plus his unspent vacation days, which comes to about 30 days of salary, according to Mackie.
As the new clerk, Price is tasked with overseeing an election recount filed by Dennis Wainscott, another candidate for Ward 1, who received fewer votes than Jennings despite his ineligibility.
As mayor, Stockford will appoint a new clerk to be confirmed by council vote.
“As far as the interview process goes, any council-member is welcome to play a part in that,” Stockford said. “The more involvement the better.”
The council approved a request by Stockford to begin advertising for the city clerk position. Price will serve in the interim position until an appointment is confirmed.