Reynoldsburg City Council agreed unanimously at a special meeting Oct. 7 to hire Blacklick resident April Beggerow to be its clerk, succeeding Teresa Veit, who left Sept. 18 after less than a week on the job.
Veit and Beggerow were among 42 applicants considered for the position vacated by Nancy Frazier when she retired July 30 after 26 years as clerk of council.
Beggerow will begin working for Reynoldsburg Tuesday, Oct. 15, at an annual salary of $53,789, plus $17,600 in benefits, which include health, dental, vision, life insurance and short-term disability.
She has worked for the Ohio Municipal League in Columbus for the past 13 years. She earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.
Council President Doug Joseph said Beggerow made the short list of applicants from the first.
"She was one of our original finalists for the position," he said. "Everyone agreed she would be an excellent choice and addition to our staff. There was very little debate."
Beggerow said after working with the Ohio Municipal League for 13 years, she wanted to experience city government.
According to her resume, Beggerow was responsible for the daily operations of the busy nonprofit lobbying organization, which had an annual budget of $1,250,000.
She said she prepared contracts, correspondence and legislative amendments, sample ordinances and resolutions.
During the finance committee meeting before the special meeting, council members debated an ordinance to make the assistant council clerk position a full-time job. Frazier was working with one part-time person, who retired soon after she did, but that department was originally staffed with one full-time clerk of council and two part-time assistants.
Joseph said hiring only a part-time assistant council clerk would not give the city the continuity needed to prevent a future vacancy in the clerk of council position.
"A city of this size should, at minimum, have a part-time council clerk, but that does not solve the long-term issue," he said.
Councilman Scott Barrett disagreed. He said the clerk of council position should be updated to make it more electronically efficient, so the office would not put out "mounds of paper documents."
"This discussion is premature because a tremendous amount of modernization needs to happen for this position," he said.
Joseph indicated that Veit likely left because of the workload.
"I think the reason she left is she was overwhelmed," he said. "I would hate to see that happen again because we are afraid to put someone in a supportive role."
Councilwoman Monica DeBrock said she thought two full-time people should be hired.
"I am appalled that a city of our size does not have current codes or current legislation online for people to access," she said.
Councilman Cornelius McGrady III said he understands the needs of the clerk's job but said the city has operated with one full-time and one part-time person for several years.
Councilman Mel Clemens said he thought a full-time employee is needed to "back up the full-time clerk of council."
Clemens suggested that an ordinance to replace two part-time assistant clerks with one full-time assistant clerk be forwarded to the full council for a first reading. DeBrock seconded the motion.