Vincent hires new town clerk

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2003

The Town of Vincent has hired a new town clerk, but the filling of the position has not been without controversy.

At age 62, Town Clerk Mary Lee Reynolds will retire this spring after more than 26 years with the city. She was originally hired as town treasurer and became town clerk in 1984. She also serves as court clerk.

&uot;I loved it.&uot; She said, &uot;I feel like a servant of the people and will miss everybody.&uot;

Hired by the council to take Reynold’s

place is her daughter, Hope Kimberly Cooper, 35.

That’s where the controversy comes in for one resident. Pat Scoggins, an applicant for the job and relative of Reynolds’ who was not selected, claims she was treated unfairly.

Scoggins called for a town meeting that was slated to be held after presstime.

&uot;My whole purpose in this … I did not feel I was treated fairly.&uot; She said she wanted the council to explain how Cooper was more qualified for the job.

Vincent Mayor Joe Thompson said there were 18 to 20 applicants for the post. He said the field was narrowed to six by a committee composed of Councilmembers Paul Sumners, Robert Kidd and himself.

Reynolds did not want to be a part of the selection process, so the Pelham City Clerk was asked to narrow the field to three.

Thompson said after two other applicants turned down the post because of pay, the job was offered to Cooper. The position pays $10 an hour.

Thompson said there is no controversy in hiring Reynold’s daughter, that she is highly qualified for the job.

Reynolds said her husband is Scoggins’ uncle. And she explained that when Scoggins came in to apply for the town clerk position, she (Reynolds) went to the mayor to disqualify herself from having anything to do with the hiring of a replacement.

She said Mayor Thompson called Pelham Mayor Bobby Hayes which led to the Pelham City Clerk narrowing down the list of candidates.

Reynolds said she and the Pelham City Clerk were associates and saw each other at meetings, but that she had not had more than two or three conversations with her over the years