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Middletown council revamps treasurer job

By Alex Bridges

MIDDLETOWN -- Town Council revisited the treasurer's role Friday in a renewed effort to fill the vacant position.

Council held a special meeting to discuss the finance post still open since members voted Jan. 13 to end Stacey Harrison's employment with the town after about three months. Council spent the meeting discussing the classified advertisement for the position and proposing changes to the job description.

The council set a deadline of Feb. 18 for applications.

Councilwoman Carole Snyder, who chairs the personnel committee, said after the meeting she saw the work as a step in the right direction.

"We're trying to revamp our job description to better perform the position," Snyder said.

Council voiced concern during the discussion that the job description incorporated responsibilities and powers better suited for department leaders. Council made numerous changes to the position.

Snyder pointed out that the town received only a small handful of applications the first time. Members talked briefly about revisiting previous applicants but decided nonetheless to advertise the position. Snyder said she didn't want to rely on just those the town interviewed.

"We didn't have enough in that pool," Snyder said. "There were about three, four that we interviewed and some of them wanted so much money we couldn't even look at them."

Snyder noted that the second choice had local government financial experience but lived out of state and wanted more money.

Council members made changes to the advertisement in an effort to broaden the scope of applicants. Some council members pointed out that the qualifications the town sought in the initial hiring process months ago may have limited the applicants they received.

The town will require the successful candidate to undergo background checks, a drug screening and that the person be bonded. Snyder said the town personnel policy had only required drug screenings for public safety workers. The policy now calls for all town employees to undergo mandatory drug screenings.

Also during the discussion, council addressed an email sent by Harrison to Mayor Charles H. Harbaugh IV in which she requested payment for time and mileage accrued through the use of her personal vehicle to conduct town business. Vice Mayor John Copeland asked why Harrison would have used her vehicle since the town has a car made available to employees. Town Clerk Rebecca Layman noted that Harrison did use her own vehicle.

Council members did not voice objection to Harrison's request.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

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