Hillsdale Mayor Adam Stockford swore in an interim city clerk on Monday, Feb. 24 after City Clerk Katy Price had to take time off for a health emergency.
Hillsdale Recreation Director Michelle Loren was appointed and will serve in the role for a few weeks. Both state and city law required a new appointment be made immediately, with absentee ballot deadlines for the state quickly approaching.
“Because of the March primary, the City of Hillsdale is scrambling to meet state and federal guidelines for the delivery of absentee ballots and a quick decision had to be made to ensure election integrity,” Stockford said in an email. “This appointment could not wait.”
Loren said her number one priority is making the election process as smooth as possible.
“We need to keep the absentee ballots coming and going so that everything is handled by election day,” she said. “The election needs to stay on track.”
Loren has filled in as an interim city clerk several times over the past decade. The position used to be an elected one, and she would fill in if the elected clerk had to step away. It has since been made a mayoral-appointed position.
“Michelle has worn many hats in city government and is an asset to this community,” Councilman Ray Briner said in an email. “The City of Hillsdale is lucky to have her in our corner with the upcoming due dates from the clerk position.”
Stockford will ask the city council to ratify his appointment during its March 2 meeting.
“I encourage citizens that see Michelle to thank her for stepping up and helping out in this time of need,” Briner said.
Price is expected to return in the coming weeks, and Loren will resume her responsibilities in the recreation department.
“She will be back in not too long,” Loren said. “We just had to keep the election rolling forward.”