Rockford to hire backup town clerk
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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
The Town of Rockford is in the process of hiring a part-time backup town clerk and librarian to work as needed.
Town Clerk Jennifer Tindall had previously put in her notice for leaving her position; however, she said during Tuesday evening’s Town Council meeting that she may stay through the end of the year if needed.
As part of that discussion, Mayor Scott White brought up the need to hire a backup for the town clerk through a contract labor position. It was mentioned that Tindall needs someone who is able to cover her on days that she would like to take off or needs to take off, as well as when she needs extra help on busy days.
During discussion, Tindall suggested that if the town proceeded with hiring a backup clerk now then she would be able to train the part-time employee, and the backup would then be able to train the new full-time hire to replace Tindall when needed.
It was explained that hiring the backup would be an easier process, and that more time and consideration will be needed in the hiring process for the full-time clerk. The backup will be responsible for librarian duties, as well, which fall under the clerk’s responsibilities.
After discussion, the council unanimously approved proceeding with hiring a part-time and “as needed” backup help for the town clerk position. Applications are available at Rockford Town Hall, and the deadline to apply is next Friday, October 29.
In other business, White mentioned that personnel files for the town are currently kept in the clerk’s office in a filing cabinet that does not lock. He said the files were being accessed by people who should not be accessing them as the files contain Social Security numbers and other such private information.
During discussion and suggestions of various possible solutions, it was further mentioned that the clerk’s office cannot be locked because the Police Department uses that printer.
After discussion, the council agreed for the town to purchase a 2-drawer locking filing cabinet to store personnel files in the town clerk’s office.
Also during the meeting, White updated the council regarding town retirement. He explained that every time he or a town employee called the state retirement line, they were given different information.
He had previously told the council that the town no longer needed to pay into state retirement for Police Chief Jamie Hammond after he moved to part time instead of full time. However, he said that turned out to not be true.
Instead, the state retirement official told Town Clerk Tindall and White that if an employee of the town ever qualifies for state retirement through the Town of Rockford then the town will always have to pay that employee’s retirement.
The town was paying approximately $400 per month when Hammond was full time and now pays $173.64 per month with him being part time. No action was taken on the matter as it was brought up for informational purposes and clarification only.
In other discussion items, White said that he would like to keep the third police car that the town previously agreed to sell and instead have it on hand as a backup vehicle for maintenance employees. He explained that the Ranger they currently use is making noise and that he would prefer to have the car available for them if needed.
Additionally, White said that there had not been any contact from other individuals interested in restoring the old home economics building. No one had reached out to Town Hall about restoring the building except for one person who contacted the town previously.
Because of it being a rough month with multiple deaths and time off, White said that the town’s old business; including the website, COVID-19 relief money and the land survey; would not be discussed this month. He said those items will be addressed at next month’s meeting instead, as well as any new business at that time.
After the meeting adjourned, Chief Hammond introduced the town to new part-time Police Officer Derrick Coley. Coley told the council some about himself, including that he works full-time in Lafayette and serves as a school resource officer there.
The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Rockford Town Council will be held at 6 p.m. November 16.