The Town Board of Osceola has struggled to find a solution to their need for a steady clerk and treasurer. After an ordinance was passed to separate the clerk and treasurer positions at the December 3 board of supervisors meeting, the board will now be looking to fill two positions that have recently been kept afloat by volunteers.
Following the resignation of Lorraine Rugroden in the fall of this year, Jo Everson, experienced with over 20 years in the Town of Osceola and Taylors Falls as clerk-treasurer, volunteered to serve as interim clerk-treasurer while the board found a permanent solution. However, Everson submitted her resignation effective December 1, stating that she would be willing to help organize the office for the incoming clerk and treasurer positions, but did not wish to continue to participate in the public portion of board meetings, take minutes, or collect property taxes.
As a quick remedy to the situation, the board accepted the swearing in of Neil Gustafson as Interim Clerk-Treasurer. Gustafson sat on the Osceola planning commission and is familiar with the processes to serve as interim clerk-treasurer.
“I want to thank Neil for volunteering,” said supervisor Brandon Whittaker. “He’s not being paid to do this, and it takes a lot of bravery to do this. I also want to give a huge thank you and applaud Jo Everson for all of her help.” “I have to second that,” said Chairman Doug Schmidt. “Jo, you’ve done a tremendous job. We wouldn’t have survived without your assistance.”
The board continued to discuss the job descriptions of both clerk and treasurer deciding that the clerk be a .6 position and the treasurer be a .3 position, both with flexible hours. The board had differing opinions, but ultimately decided that both positions would report back to the entire board rather than just the chairperson.
“Obviously, the chair will have a different interaction with the clerk than Brandon or I would,” said supervisor Mike Wallis. “But, I think what this eventually comes down to is that, at the end of the year, the three of us have to do performance reviews…I think the intent of having them report back to the town board is legitimate.”
The board then made a motion to approve the job descriptions for the clerk and treasurer positions. The clerk would be heavily involved in public contact, attending meetings, and completing administrative work including minutes, elections, license and permits, etc. The treasurer’s position will be responsible for financial management including payroll, accounts payable, financial reports, budgets, tax collection, etc.