Pelham council combines, eliminates city positions

PELHAM – The Pelham City Council consolidated and eliminated positions in a series of resolutions passed at a meeting on Monday, Aug. 21.

In four separate resolutions, the council combined the roles of the city clerk and city treasurer, approved the city clerk/city treasurer job description and compensation, appointed city employee Tom Seale as the city clerk/city treasurer and eliminated the position of finance director.

Council President Rick Hayes said the moves were made in an effort to make the city operations more efficient.

“It’s a reshuffling of duties and consolidation of positions,” he said. “The goal is to be as efficient as possible.”

Members of the Pelham City Council, who are typically unified in their decision-making, have had differing opinions on the future of Pelham’s city clerk position. The decision to appoint a city clerk was previously tabled at an Aug. 7 meeting.

Prior to voting on the resolution to combine the city clerk and treasurer positions, Councilman Maurice Mercer said he would not be able to support the movement in its entirety. At the Aug. 7 meeting, Mercer said he doesn’t agree with removing a person from a position that they’re fully qualified for.

The resolution passed with a vote of 4-1, with Mercer casting the nay vote.

Hayes and Council members Ron Scott and Beth McMillan voted in favor of each of the four resolutions.

Mercer and Councilwoman Mildred Lanier also cast no votes for the resolutions to approve the city clerk/city treasurer job description and compensation and to eliminate the position of finance director. The finance director position was created in 2005.

Lanier said her concern stemmed from the increased education requirements included in the job description for the city clerk/city treasurer position.

Lanier elected to abstain from the vote appointing Seale as the city clerk/city treasurer, while Mercer cast a no vote on the matter.

“My vote is in no way anything against Mr. Seale,” Mercer said.

Lanier acknowledged Seale’s and current city clerk Marsha Yates’ contributions to the city and said they are both individuals that she highly respects.

The effective date for each of the resolutions is Sept. 5. Although Yates will no longer serve as city clerk effective Sept. 5, she will still be employed by the city. During the work session, Waters said there is currently an open city position that Yates is qualified to fill.

“No one will be put out on the street,” Waters said.

During the city’s upcoming budget meetings, Waters said he will be making recommendations to restructure city departments to further maximize efficiency and convenience for city residents.