April 18, 2013 10:21:12 AM
Carmen K. Sisson - email@example.com
Voters in Caledonia will see a familiar face around Town Hall for the next few weeks.
The board of aldermen held a special called meeting Wednesday night, voting unanimously to hire former town clerk Judy Whitcomb as the town's interim clerk/registrar.
State code requires clerks/registrars to undergo special training before municipal elections. In addition to having the necessary training, Whitcomb is also a bonded notary public.
Since Caledonia will begin accepting absentee ballots Monday for the June 4 election, it was critical for the aldermen to resolve what has been an ongoing issue for the past few months, election commissioner Ken Byars said.
Whitcomb retired in January and was replaced by her granddaughter, Krista Hill, on Feb. 1. Hill resigned at the beginning of April, citing workplace harassment,
Although the aldermen have hired receptionist Missy Odom at $10 per hour to answer the phone, she does not have the requisite election training, and she is not bonded.
Earlier in the month, Whitcomb was rehired part-time, for no more than 10 hours per week, to process checks and handle other clerical needs.
Wednesday night's vote supersedes that arrangement with Whitcomb, town attorney Jeff Smith said.
Whitcomb will work weekdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at a rate of $15.25 per hour. Her tenure will begin Monday and end June 9.
The aldermen unanimously chose Lena Mae Duncan as Whitcomb's alternate in case of illness. If her services are used, she will earn the same hourly rate as Whitcomb.
Carmen K. Sisson is news editor at The Dispatch.