Markle Council to go with assistant

The Markle Town Council decided at its Sept. 16 meeting that an administrative assistant is the best route to take for the town.

Council president Tamra Boucher drafted a list of 12 items that she believes an assistant should be able to help with while working the part-time job in the town hall.

She said the person needs to be available to answer inquiries about Markle town code, offer policy suggestions and drafts for the council's approval, help the clerk-treasurer with capital lists every five years and assist the clerk-treasurer and council with any activities required.

The administrative assistant should also assist with the budget process, help with utility bills, inform the council and clerk-treasurer of any necessary transactions, attend all meetings of the town council, provide administrative support to the departments of the town, answer phones, distribute the daily mail and provide assistance with the council president and clerk-treasurer with creating packets and agendas for the council meetings.

"Somebody who could do that would be a real asset to this community," said Markle clerk-treasurer Carolyn Hamilton.

The council had decided at a prior meeting the position would be part-time, and decided during the September meeting the job would offer up to 20 hours a week.
Since the job is not full time, statute says there are no benefits involved in this type of employment.

"I think, based on our meeting and what we heard and the discussion that happened, I think (this is) probably the direction we need to move," said council vice president Jeff Humbarger.

Boucher added she wanted to check with state statute to make sure this type of assistant could provide the backup for the clerk-treasurer that they had discussed previously because she said it wasn't clear.

She also asked department heads who were present at the meeting (utilities and police department) if the description she provided would meet their needs as well.
A concern brought up at the meeting was what would happen if all the departments came to the assistant asking for something at the same time and the assistant had no one to regulate which department he or she would answer to.

In light of the concern, the council designated the clerk-treasurer as the regulator if this situation presented itself, even though Hamilton said she didn't see that being an issue.

The board agreed the functions that Boucher had drafted seemed sufficient.

Council members decided that the administrative assistant would not be required to live in the town limits.

Computer skills would be necessary though, especially word processing, said Boucher. She added a valid driver's license would be neacessary.

The board also decided that communications skills are required for the job and post-secondary education is preferred.

Council member Mark Hamilton suggested an understanding of county taxes would be beneficial, so the council made a business or an accounting background a possible quali-fication.

The job, the council decided, would be advertised in Huntington and Bluffton.

An executive session will be held to go through the applications at the end of the advertising period to present a candidate for approval.