Katy Price was sworn in as the new city clerk at the Hillsdale City Council Meeting on Monday after appointment to the position by Mayor Adam Stockford and the council.
Price has been working for the City as interim city clerk since November, when former City Clerk Stephen French resigned.
“I’m looking forward to just doing the job to the best of my ability,” Price said in an interview with The Collegian.
Since the position was vacant in November, 160 applications were received for the position. Candidates were narrowed down by Stockford and City Manager David Mackie and the top two candidates were interviewed in a public meeting Feb. 26. After the interviews, Stockford met with council members individually to discuss who they would like to select for the position.
They met a consensus with Price.
Ward 3 Council member Bruce Sharp said at the council meeting that both candidates were very qualified.
“It came down to who we were comfortable with, and that was it, because they were both very qualified,” he said. “It was a hard choice at times, but I’m comfortable with the one we have, right at this time.”
A lifelong resident of Hillsdale, Price started working for the City about seven years ago in the clerk’s office as an assistant. After five years, she moved into the assessing office, where she worked to receive her Michigan Certificate of Assessing Technicians certification.
With elections coming up this year, Price said that ensuring elections are conducted to the best of her ability is a top priority.
“My main focus will be doing due diligence and making sure that elections are running smoothly and without hiccups,” she said.
In addition, Price said the implementation of Proposition 3, a new series of voting laws which passed in the State of Michigan this past November, will be a main focus.
Stockford said that Price’s appointment differs from years past due to the fact that it is “essentially a promotion in the form of an appointment,” he said.
“Katy’s been a part of the City of Hillsdale team for as long as I’ve been part of the elected government,” Stockford said in an email. “She’s a familiar face in the front office for residents and she’s certified in elections, so she can step into the position with very little transition. We’re confident she’s going to be a good addition to the city’s leadership.”
At Monday’s meeting, council discussed how news of Price’s appointment was leaked via her personal Facebook page prior to the mayor’s announcement, which eventually found itself on the radio. Stockford said that this was a breach of the city’s social media policy.
“A huge aspect of the job now is going to be public in the way that it wasn’t before and it’s going to be political in a way it wasn’t before,” he said.
Price apologized publicly for breaking the policy.
Ward 4 Council Member Matthew Bell congratulated Price on her appointment at Monday’s meeting.
“Just remember you don’t work for the city manager, you don’t work for the city council, you work for the people,” he said. “You are answerable to people and representatives, as we found out with our last city clerk. In remembering the responsibility that you have, it’s pretty important. People are giving up their tax dollars in order to pay salaries and pay us to come to these meetings and so, it’s a pretty important position and as there is a lot of trust that goes into that.”