18 apply for City Clerk job

December 15, 2012

Wayne Allen

PDT Staff Writer

Friday at noon was the deadline for apply for the job of Portsmouth City Clerk. At total of 18 people had submitted applications for the position.

What, exactly, the applicants will be applying for is still up for discussion as Portsmouth City Council Monday debated if the city clerk’s position should be part-time or full-time .

Current city clerk Tamara Nathan recently announced her resignation effective Dec. 26 to take a position as assistant general manager of a Taco Bell restaurant in South Point, Ohio.

Acting City Council President Rich Saddler expressed his desire to change the current status of the clerk position’s employment.

“I think it (city clerk) needs to be a full time position. Nothing against Tamara, I know she kept very busy and has done a very good job. She has made the comments a couple of times that their does not seem to be enough work to fill up an eight hour day,” Saddler said. “That’s not her fault, I think that’s our fault. First and foremost, it is a public office there is only one employee in that office and it needs to accessible to the public eight hours a day five days a week.”

Sixth Ward Councilman Steve Sturgill said the only way he would know if the clerks job needs to be full or part time is to listen to the person who has the job.

Saddler said there is a public expectation for the job.

“There are people out there that cannot access our information and all of our information is online anyways,” Saddler said.

Third Ward Councilman Nicholas Basham said it did not matter to him if the job remained full-time or became part-time.

“When you step back and look at it, we have not had someone there five days a week, eight hours a day for this year. No offense to Tamara, I know she has had some issues,” Basham said.

It was then brought up if the city clerk would also being in charge of civil service for the city.

“Those are two separate positions. The civil service commission pays a yearly salary. Those records come into the city clerk’s office anyway, that’s where everything used to be filed. Could we not consider combining those positions,” said Kevin Johnson, First Ward Councilman. “If we can look into combining those positions that would further justify keeping the clerk’s position full time. We could also save some money in the process.”

City Solicitor Mike Jones said he did not see any issue in combining the two positions.

“There is all sorts of things we can do, if we combine those positions. We can discuss that at budget time,” Johnson said.

According to released information, a special meeting of the Portsmouth City Council has been set for Dec. 17 at 4:30 p.m. in Council Chambers in the Municipal Building. This meeting will be held prior to the Portsmouth City Manager Committee meeting being held at 6 p.m. on the same day. This Special Meeting has been called to interview and appoint an individual for the position of the Portsmouth City Clerk.

Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or wallen@heartlandpublications.com.