Officials in Markle discuss hiring of town manager

Officials in Markle will continue a discussion regarding hiring a town manager.

The topic was brought up at the Markle Town Council meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 19, by Markle Clerk-Treasurer Carolyn Hamilton.

Hamilton, along with the council, say too much is falling on Hamilton's shoulders, as she has to cover two counties (the Wells-Huntington county line runs through Markle).

When the previous town manager left, council members said they wanted to wait and evaluate the situation. Now there could be a need for another person in Hamilton's office, said council president Tamra Boucher.

Hamilton turned in a written request for a deputy clerk that the council examined. She said she spent several hours writing down her duties.

"I would sleep better at night if I knew someone knew how to do payroll and knew how to do the water bills," Hamilton commented.

Boucher has begun looking into using staff already in the utility department to do this billing, but her main wish is to hire a new town manager.

"I really think that if we're going to increase staff, we need to have a town manager again," Boucher said. "There are a lot of things that could be done that aren't being down or that are falling on Carolyn that shouldn't, that if we were to have a town manager again, a lot of that would come off, a lot of that stress would come off.

"Things that we currently don't have anybody really looking after could be looked after that I think are important. I think that would be a better use of our resources than a five-hour-a-week person to be a backup," Boucher said.

Hamilton had requested a person to help her for five to 10 hours a week, but said she really wants 10.

The council will continue thinking about hiring a new manager but is concerned about keeping that person busy throughout their daily work hours, and so what hours this person would be scheduled to work is uncertain.
Boucher thinks that the town can improve if a manager is hired.

"I said a year ago (that when the) town manager left, let's leave the position vacant and let's see how things go," she said. "We acknowledged a year ago when you don't have that position filled, you are not proactive, you are being reactive, that certain things will be addressed and other things won't because you don't have the resources to address those things.

"I have been feeling for a while, it didn't have anything to do with Carolyn's request at the July meeting, that maybe it's time to be rethinking that, because there are things that we are not able to do. There are things that need to be happening, that planning needs to be done that can't be done. It's not anybody's fault, it's not that anybody is not doing a good job, everybody's doing a wonderful job, but there's only so much people can do. It's not fair to try to ask people to do things that they are not able to do," she said.

Boucher added that the time has arrived for the council to make a decision, either for or against a new employee.

There will be a special meeting held Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. in the Markle Town Hall building to discuss this topic further.