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3 choices for township clerk


Finalists have lots of clerk experience



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February 02, 2011 - The township clerk selection committee met twice to narrow 45 candidates to three Joan McCrary, Joan Patterson and Barbra Pallotta.

"I thought the selection process went well, and that the good number of talented candidates was reflective of the quality of community in general highly qualified people who are willing to give back," said Jerry Fisher of Independence Township, selection committee member.

Beverly McElmeel agreed.

"The selection process I thought was a very good one and the five members worked very well together," she said. "As far as the candidates go, we were all in agreement for who was recommended to the township board."

McCrary served as Independence Township clerk from 1989-2004, as well as the Zoning Board of Appeals for four years.

"I'm happy they chose me and I'm pleased I can be committed to the community again if they choose me as the clerk," she said. "I may have stepped down, but I didn't step out when I left there. My interest and everything has still been here with the township, so I'm happy to be one of the three."

She currently serves on the Planning Commission. Some of her community involvement includes Clarkston Area Optimist, Clarkston Historical Society, Township Historical and Preservation committee, Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce, Lighthouse of Oakland County, and is a member of the First Baptist Church of Clarkston.

"I think I can serve them well with my depth of experience and involvement in the community," McCrary added.

Patterson, a trustee on the Clarkston School Board said the clerk position would give her a "bigger part." As trustee on the school board she said there is a lot of "oversight."

"As a clerk you have more hands on pulling data together to make decisions," she said. "This is a nice fit where I can pull my community background, my business background and my knowledge of Clarkston together."

Patterson said if there is a potential conflict of interest of serving on both the school board and being township clerk, she would quit the school board.

"I'm passionate about education," she said. "I'll always be a part of that by volunteering or being involved, but I have seen this as a greater opportunity to get involved with public service."

Community involvement includes Clarkston Area Optimist, Boy Scouts of America Merit Badge Counselor, Clarkston Leadership Board, and Service Academy Selection Committee. She currently volunteers as a student mentor in the High School and Junior High for "at risk" students.

"One of the things I'm starting to understand is if you want to improve the political process you have to take a part in it," Patterson said. "I just appreciate all the people that put their resumes in, because that meant a lot of people are looking and wanting to get involved."

Pallotta declined to comment on Monday because she had not been officially notified by the committee yet that she was a top three candidate.

Pallotta currently works as deputy clerk for the City of Troy. Prior to that she was deputy clerk for City of Wixom. She was also the secretary to the Director of Human Resources for the City of Farmington Hills and a steno clerk in both the Planning and Community Development and the Clerk's office for the City of Novi.

Selection Committee member Joe Wauldron also thought the process went well.

"There were a lot of qualified people. We were looking for people who were looking for jobs, not money and we were looking at the background, the commitment to the community," he said. "We're happy with the selection."

Other members of the selection committee included Zac Bell and Karen Manvel.

Supervisor Dave Wagner said the committee gave the board "some decent choices."

"I think it's a good group of three. They all bring a lot of different qualifications to the township," Wagner said. "Hopefully in a couple weeks we'll have a clerk."

Trustee Mark Petterson agreed.

"We have three very good candidates, they're all certainly qualified," Petterson said. "I still believe the board could have very well gone through all the applications."

Trustee David Lohmeier felt the committee was "really efficient."

"There is a good lesson learned there, just because you're going to form a committee and put some work on there, it doesn't have to be long and bureaucratic," he said. "You get some good citizens with good intentions they can get the job done and move on."

Lohmeier didn't want to comment on the three candidates until officially presented by the committee.

"Of the 45 resumes, I was impressed half of them had qualifications and at least 10 or 12 were really qualified," Lohmeier said. "So we got a good pool (to choose from)."

According to the "Clerk Replacement Selection Process" each member of the township board can add one more candidate from the resume pool to the three names given by the committee. Those names were to be submitted to the human resource director by Monday.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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