Reynoldsburg News

Search renewed for new council clerk

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Reynoldsburg City Council is on the hunt for a new clerk again, after the woman it hired resigned last week after just five days on the job.

"We're all kind of dumbfounded at the moment," Councilman Barth Cotner said after Teresa Veit turned in her keys and quit Sept. 18. Her first day as council clerk was Sept. 12.

ThisWeek's attempts to reach Veit for comment have been unsuccessful.

Cotner and council members Scott Barrett, Monica DeBrock, Mel Clemens, Leslie Kelly, Chris Long, Cornelius McGrady III and Council President Doug Joseph met in executive session after the Sept. 23 council meeting to discuss Veit's sudden departure and finding someone to replace her.

A Reynoldsburg resident, Veit had worked for the city nine years ago in the building and zoning department. For the past seven years, she was an administrative assistant in Upper Arlington's development department.

Council members considered 41 other applicants before choosing Veit, who Cotner said came highly recommended.

"We thought we had another potential Nancy Frazier, since Nancy recommended her," he said. "We are not exactly back to square one, because we have plenty of applicants."

Frazier worked as clerk of council for the city for more than 26 years before she retired July 30.

"Nancy basically ran the city," Clemens said. "She pretty much knew everything."

Clemens said he knew Veit "really well" since she used to work for the city.

"It was a lot of work for one person, with not much help, but I figured it could take months for her to learn everything," he said. "We had planned on hiring a full-time assistant clerk."

An assistant clerk retired just before Frazier left, so the city has been left with no one as a backup clerk of council, Cotner said.

"This shows the value of having a full-time assistant clerk," he said.

Council members discussed an ordinance at the Sept. 23 meeting that would change the current setup for the assistant clerk's position, allowing council to employ one full-time assistant clerk instead of two part-time assistants.

"If we had one full-time assistant, that person could have moved up into the clerk of council position," Clemens said at the meeting.

Barrett said he thinks an assessment is needed to determine just how many people are required to do the job.

"I think the reason we are in the position we are today is because we did not have a full-time assistant," DeBrock said. "We did not have any backup. We need to get this department going again."

Cotner said since all members seemed to have a lot of concern over the position, they could vote the ordinance down and send it back to committee meetings for more discussion.

All voted 'no' on passing the ordinance except for Clemens, who abstained because a relative of his had applied for the clerk of council position.

Cotner said after the executive session Sept. 23 that council members discussed their options and the people who have already applied.

"Obviously, we need a clerk as soon as possible," he said. "We did a lot of work already, so we have a good foundation. This will help as we work quickly to find our new clerk."

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