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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Village Of Pound Seeks New Clerk/Treasurer

Issue Date: June 20, 2019

At a brief special meeting on Friday, June 14, Pound Village Board formally accepted the resignation of Clerk/Treasurer Patricia Schutte and approved hiring Wayne Gross to fill the position until a permanent replacement is hired.

They agreed unanimously to publish ads in the Peshtigo Times with wording to be decided by Gross and Village President Terry Earley.

Prior to the vote the board discussed potential wages for the position. At previous meetings they had informally agreed they will hire on an hourly basis, not salaried. The clerk/treasurer position will be regulated by the employees manual that had been a work in progress for the village board for some months before the clerk/treasurer portion was approved at the board's regular June meeting.

During discussion on wages Earley commented that if Clerk/Treasurer Schutte had worked 40 hours a week, "which we know she didn't," her wages would have come to about $17 per hour. The Coleman clerk is paid $19 per hour for a 40 hour week, he said, adding, "I don't feel we should pay over $20 an hour." Earley commented.

Board members agreed starting pay should be commensurate with experience and qualifications, and suggestions were that pay should be in the $16 to $19 per hour range, perhaps with a lower stating wage increasing as the clerk/treasurer becomes more experienced.

They agreed to ask applicants their desired wage and to discuss applications at a closed executive session before taking formal action to hire.

Clerk/Treasurer Schutte's resignation had come as a surprise when they arrived for their regular monthly meeting on Monday, June 3. On the table in the meeting room in addition to regular paperwork for the meeting was her letter of resignation, effective immediately.

In the letter, dated June 3, Schutte had written: "To the Village of Pound Taxpayers: It has been my pleasure and an honor to have served as your Village Clerk-Treasurer for the past 19.5 years."

"To the Village Board: I can no longer work for people that do not trust me, do not communicate with me and spread false accusations about me.

"Therefore, on June 3, 2019, effective immediately, I resign my position as Village Clerk-Treasurer and terminate my employment with the Village of Pound," and concluded, "I submit this resignation with the same consideration that I have been given by this Village Board."

Since it was not on the meeting agenda board members could not formally accept the resignation at that meeting, nor could they formally approve a replacement. They informally authorized Earley to arrange for an interim clerk/treasurer and he subsequently contacted Gross. Gross recently retired after years as Building and Grounds Director for Coleman School District.

At the start of the June 14 special meeting Earley read Schutte's letter aloud and asked for a motion to accept her resignation.

"What is she talking about...false accusations?" asked Trustee Mike Rogodzinski, who was just seated on the board in May.

"It's like a kick in the face to us," responded Earley. "I think she was upset because of the audits."

"Especially the forensics audit," commented Trustee Mary Meyer. Meyer added they had agreed to have that audit done by Sikich LLC because it had been a number of years since the village had any audit done, and the regular audit being done by Joel Rennie of Johnson and Rennie for 2016 is still not complete.

"One reason we did the forensics audit was because it was taking so long for the Rennie audit," commented Earley.

Earley was hopeful the Rennie audit will be completed soon. He said the final information the auditors had requested was an inventory list that included break-down values of village-owned equipment. The inventory lists had been provided last month, "so now as far as I know they now have everything they need," Earley added.

Trustee David Navis said completion of the Sikich forensics audit will have to wait until there is a new clerk in the office.

Motion was then made and unanimously approved to accept Clerk Schutte's resignation.

After the meeting Gross said he has set up a new e-mail account for the village clerk's office, which is "vopclerk2019@gmail.com."


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