City to consider clerk position

PARKERSBURG – City Council will consider whether it should keep the City Clerk part-time or return it to full-time position.

The council’s Personnel Committee meets at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at the city building, and council member Sharon Lynch, who chairs the committee, said the clerk position will be a topic of discussion.

“Quite frankly, I don’t think it’s been discussed enough to see whether it should remain part-time or be full-time,” she said. “Some of the duties of that position aren’t there anymore. At one time that position was in charge of city elections, and now the city elections have been moved with the general elections. At one time it issued permits, but that’s been moved to the finance department.

City Clerk Connie Shaffer began working for Parkersburg in 1972, and took her current position in 1979. In 2011, she retired but agreed to remain part-time until after a new council could be elected in 2012. The new council took office this month.

Shaffer declined to say whether she would remain in the position.

“I will wait and see what the committee decides,” she said.

“That decision hasn’t been made yet,” said council President Jim Reed. “We will have some meetings with the personnel committee, see what recommendation they bring back. If that is the consensus of the council that they want a full-time city clerk, that is what we will do.

“Also, Connie’s wishes too will be considered,” he said. “She certainly brings a lot of knowledge to the position.”

Mayor Bob Newell said he has been working for the past several years to reduce and combine positions with the city. The clerk is the sole employee of the council, and Newell said he would encourage council members to assess the position.

“If they can make due with a part-time city clerk, I certainly would encourage them to do that,” he said.

Lynch said she hopes to have a decision soon, but added more time might be needed.

“What I would like to do is get a decision this time” at the committee meeting, she said. “If there is a lot of discussion we might not be able to. I think that is something everyone should have some input into.”

Lynch said any decision needs to be reached sooner rather than later.

“That is something that really should be decided before we go into the budgeting process,” she said.