April 15, 2024

Fontanelle navigates without a city clerk

In a special meeting Tuesday, March 14, the Fontanelle City Council passed several measures designed to get all city operations on the same page, especially while there’s no city clerk on duty.

City Clerk Amanda Held resigned recently, which left city officials looking for a contingency plan for essential functions that have to be accomplished.

The council said staffing city hall will have to be a team effort in the interim. Council member Carol Barrett has city clerking experience in Fontanelle and stated she would be willing to help, and other city employees are also willing to help.

Greenfield Municipal Utilities employee Jessica Foster expressed a willingness to help Fontanelle during her off hours. At the council’s approval, she will provide up to five hours of work for Fontanelle to handle payroll and other duties. Mayor Mary Sturdy-Martin will assist Foster with approving checks before signing.

At library director Melissa Menefee’s direction, street department employees will help clean up the community center after it is used until a clerk is hired.

Clearing up concerns about chain of command, the council said that for the time being, street department employees are still equals, without a true superintendent overseeing department. Council members Lane Ellis and Tyson Sickles will be contact people if problems arise until a more permanent solution for that department is arrived at.

Along that same vein, there had been questions about the mayor’s area of oversight in the past and what oversight the council has. The council voted unanimously to give the mayor back all of the oversight she is due.

The city has had late fees and non-sufficient funds become a problem recently. City Attorney Justin Hockenberry suggested that the council change their method of oversight of the financials in the future. One suggestion he made was for there to be resolutions every time funds are transferred. The idea was also considered for having two monthly meetings, with one focused almost entirely on financials.

The city has six or seven applicants for the open city clerk position and interviews were scheduled to be held Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week. The council’s regular monthly meeting was Monday.

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.