EDITORIAL: Clerk-treasurer has time to record minutes

2012-11-09T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Clerk-treasurer has time to record minutes nwitimes.com
November 09, 2012 12:00 am  • 

The St. John Town Council has been feuding with Clerk-treasurer Sherry Sury over how the council meeting minutes are recorded. The council needs to give up this fight.

Jim Corridan of the Indiana Commission on Public Records wrote to the Town Council to express its concerns on the council's hiring of its own private recording secretary.

On Sept. 13, the council hired Susan Wright to record the minutes of meetings, at a cost of $70 per meeting. Wright has long recorded the minutes of St. John Plan Commission meetings at a cost of $120 per session.

At the council's Sept. 27 meeting, council Vice President Mark Barenie said he preferred Sury spend time providing financial reports.

But Sury has time to record the minutes, which she is required by law to do.

The Commission on Public Records letter said, "These duties are the legal responsibility and obligation of the elected town clerk-treasurer under IC 36-5-6-6(9): 'The clerk-treasurer shall do the following: Serve as clerk of the legislative body by attending its meetings and recording its proceedings.' "

In addition, the commission questioned the legitimacy of records generated by a private recording secretary and the legality of spending tax dollars on that purpose.

The practice of paying someone else to do what the clerk-treasurer is supposed to do for free might or might not be illegal, but it seems a clear waste of tax dollars. 

Even before the State Board of Accounts weighs in on this, the Town Council should change its mind and switch back to having the clerk-treasurer fulfill the duties for which she was elected.

If the council wants to amend the minutes presented by Sury, that's fine. But let the clerk-treasurer record the minutes of meetings, as state law dictates. Don't try to rewrite history, and don't waste the taxpayers' money.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Follow The Times

Latest Local Offers

Featured Businesses

Submit a Letter to Editor

We welcome letters from readers on any issue of public interest, and make every effort to publish as many as we can and in a timely manner. The Times will publish only one letter a month from a writer, and be sure to include your name, address and a telephone number for verification. Letters should be 150 words or less. They will be edited.

Letters may be submitted:
  • Via our submission form.
  • Via e-mail.
  • Via fax: (219) 933-3249 or (219) 465-7298
  • Via mail or by hand to our offices:
    • 601 45th Ave., Munster, IN 46321
    • 2080 N. Main St., Crown Point, IN 46307
    • 1111 Glendale Blvd., Valparaiso, IN 46383
    • 3410 Delta Dr., Portage, IN 46368
    • Please mark envelopes with "Attn: Letters"

Questions?

Email Editorial Page Editor Doug Ross or call (219) 548-4360 or (219) 933-3357

Poll

Loading…

Who do you support for Porter County commissioner?

View Results