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Who's the new clerk?

Who will it be? From left, Joan McCrary, Barbra Pallotta, or Joan Patterson? (click for larger version)
February 16, 2011 - By the time you read this, Independence Township residents should have a new clerk. Trustees were expected to choose one of three candidates at Tuesday night's meeting

After interviews for the position, Feb. 8, board members were still up in the air.

"I've not really come down to it's absolutely going to be Joan Patterson, Joan McCrary, or Barbra Polatta," said Trustee Mark Petterson. "I can still be swayed."

Petterson said he would review comments made by candidates and figure out what "the best fit for the township is."

"I did like that Joan McCrary's had the guts to stand up and say she didn't like to see trustees micromanaging because that's what creates a lot of unrest amongst the board. I liked what Barb had to say about looking at the consultants. I think that would be a great step in the right direction. Joan Patterson has a lot of board experience," Petterson said. "All three had great things they bring to the table, but I'm going to have to sort this one out."

Supervisor Dave Wagner agreed.

"We had three quality people, all of different backgrounds," he said.

However, Wagner favors McCrary, "who's already done the job and has all the qualifications."

"If you have an opportunity to bring someone in that's more than qualified for the job I think you got to look hard at that, but not discount the others."

Trustee David Lohmeier thought the interview meeting on Feb. 8 went well.

"We got basically what we needed out of it and got to know the candidates – that was the whole point," he said. "It's given me something to think about the past couple of days and follow up."

Lohmeier agreed with Petterson that it was about "the best fit."

"You don't get to pick generally your fellow board members, so you get a rare opportunity to try and get a personality set as well as a skill set that will integrate well," Lohmeier said. "That's kind of an encouraging, inviting prospect to try and bring somebody on board that will improve the overall dynamic."

Trustee Larry Rosso said the candidates did a good job. "It's really now in the board's court," he said. "I'm still thinking it over and looking at the implications of different things here."

While board members didn't have their mind made up, some audience members did.

Dr. James O'Neill said McCrary is be the best choice because she "knows the job."

"We've already paid for her healthcare and benefits and we're reasonably assured she's not going to run. I honestly believe she'd bring a lot of knowledge here. We don't have a learning curve or have to bring in consultants," he said.

O'Neill urged Patterson and Pallotta to run in 2012 because they would make "excellent clerks."

While resident Craig Strickland respected O'Neill's position, he said Pollotta would bring a "fresh look."

"Someone who brings new blood to the board, I think it would be very, very important for that addition to the board – I think it would help this community to have some youthful fresh ideas," Strickland said.

McCrary said questions asked were interesting. "Some were challenging, some were unexpected, some where thought provoking," she said. "I thought it went pretty well for all three of us."

Pallotta said, "it was a good way to get information from us in a very relaxed format."

"I thought the interview process was creative, and effective," she said. "I really enjoyed it."

Patterson agreed it was "more pleasant" than she thought it would be.

"I really enjoyed the other ladies that were running, I appreciate them," Patterson said. We went through the whole process they outlined and I look forward to a decision being made."

To see who the board picked, go to www.clarkstonnews.com.

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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