Paris to have referendum on making clerk-treasurer appointed

Voters in Paris will be able to vote on whether to allow the Town Board to appoint the town’s clerk-treasurer instead of having the position filled by election.

The board unanimously passed an ordinance to change the clerk-treasurer position to appointed status at Tuesday’s Town Board meeting. That cannot take effect, however, unless it is approved by  referendum.

The Paris vote will take place Nov. 6 as part of the fall partisan election.

A similar effort was attempted in 2002, but was defeated by the referendum, Supervisor Ken Monson said.

Town Board members said they were in favor of the change so that an individual qualified for the job could also be found without having to rely on the relatively small pool of people that live in Paris and could run for the office.

“That’s not a very big pool too choose from,” said Supervisor Ron Kammerzelt, who introduced the idea at last month’s board meeting. But if the clerk-treasurer is made appointed, “then we can go anywhere to solicit someone to take this job.”

Said Monson: “I supported it 16 years ago and I support it now. We need to move forward with this and get it passed.”

If approved by referendum, the new status would not go into effect until April 2019, when the current term of Clerk-Treasurer Beverly McCumber ends.

Before considering the ordinance, the board agreed to hire a communication consultant to help the board get out its position on the clerk/treasurer change before the referendum. The consultant, Mueller Communications, would assist in determining strategy and creating some material, Kammerzelt said.  Maximum cost would be $6,000.

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