Search for Wellsburg city clerk continues

WELLSBURG – As the search for a city clerk continues, city officials are considering whether to make changes to the position, a move that would require amending the city’s charter.

City Manager Mark Henne said no one has responded to advertisements for the part-time position since City Clerk Mary Blum resigned last month after 12 years in the job.

“We thought we were getting a couple of applications, but they did not materialize,” Henne said.

He said as city manager, he’s prohibited by a state code of ethics from soliciting applicants, but the mayor and council may do so.

Currently the chosen applicant would serve the remainder of Blum’s unexpired term, with the opportunity to seek re-election after that.

But City Solicitor Bill Cipriani said several ideas have been suggested to make the position more desirable, including changing it to an appointed position, raising the salary and offering benefits.

The current salary of $300 per month is set to increase to $400 per month with the city clerk’s next term, as approved by council last year.

Cipriani said there’s also been talk of changing the city clerk’s duties or combining them with those of another city official, such as the collector-treasurer.

He noted in addition to recording minutes for regular and special council meetings, the city clerk oversees city elections and handles Freedom of Information requests and other documentation.

Cipriani said one barrier to filling the position has been that a city ordinance prohibits any elected official or city employee from holding another city position.

He said any changes to the position will require amending the city charter, which must be done through an election or ordinance following a public hearing.

For now, city officials will continue to accept applications through the City Manager’s Office at City Hall, where additional information about the position’s duties may be obtained.

Applicants must be Wellsburg residents and registered voters to be eligible.