(Photo by Tom Gilchrist) Caro City Council members including, from left, Megan Ewald, Charlotte Kish and Brian Rickwalt plan to interview three candidates at 6 p.m., 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday as they seek a successor to city Clerk/Treasurer Karen J. Snider, right, who is retiring from the job. Interviews occur at the Caro Municipal Building, 317 S. State St.

Trio seeks Caro clerk/treasurer post

CARO – Caro City Council members interview a former director of a college, an audit assistant with an accounting firm and a deputy township supervisor on Thursday as they seek a successor to city Clerk/Treasurer Karen J. Snider.

Interviews occur at 6, 7 and 8 p.m. Thursday at the Caro Municipal Building, 317 S. State St.

Council interviews Colleen Smith of Pigeon at 6 p.m., Lauren Rowley of Clio at 7 p.m. and Mary Rieger of Almer Township, near Caro, at 8 p.m.

Smith worked as extension director of Baker College of Cass City, which closed earlier this year. She received a master’s degree in business administration from Baker College Center for Graduate Studies.

Rowley works as deputy supervisor, elections coordinator and administrative assistant for Thetford Township in Genesee County. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint in business administration.

Rieger works as audit senior assistant for Deloitte & Touche L.L.P. of Midland, and received her bachelor’s degree from Alma College in certified professional accounting.

The three applicants were the only candidates seeking the clerk/treasurer job, though Snider told council members at a special meeting Monday that a fourth candidate applied that day – three days past the Dec. 7 deadline for declaring interest in the job.

When one council member asked why the council shouldn’t consider the fourth application, too, Councilwoman Tisha Jones-Holubec replied.

“Well, because if they can’t get the application in on time, how are they going to get important things done on time?” Jones-Holubec said.

“I think we stick with the three (applications) we’ve got, I guess, if they can’t get it here,” Councilman Bob Eschenbacher said. “We’ve got three here. Let’s give these three the opportunity to go first. Then if we can’t (choose one) then we’ll open it back up.”

Council declined to grant the fourth applicant an interview.

The city advertised a starting annual wage from $40,000 to $55,000 for Snider’s position. It sought candidates possessing a bachelor’s degree in business administration, public administration, finance or accounting – or with equivalent work experience qualifying them for the job.

Snider’s final day on the job is Friday, when the public is invited to an open house in honor of her retirement, from 4-6 p.m. at the municipal building. The event features free hors d’oeuvres, cake and soft drinks.

Council voted unanimously Monday to contract with Snider at $75 an hour for any work the council asks her to do, following retirement, for the city.

“We kind of felt that that (wage) was fair, to have someone at a phone call’s reach, to help train the new staff and get into the reports and other reports that need to be shuffled,” said Brian Rickwalt, mayor pro tem.

A city clerk records and preserves official actions of the city council and also handles finance issues, according to the Michigan Municipal League. State law dictates that the city clerk manage city elections, as well as state and federal elections, under the direction of the Michigan Bureau of Elections in the secretary of state’s office.

A city treasurer, generally, has custody of and receives all city money, bonds, mortgages, notes, leases and evidence of value, according to the Michigan Municipal League. A treasurer also keeps an account of all receipts and expenditures, and collects and keeps an account of all taxes and money appropriations, maintaining a separate account of each fund.

Rowley, noting she worked as Thetford Township deputy clerk from 2015 into 2018 before becoming the township’s deputy supervisor and elections coordinator, calls herself a “great fit” for the Caro job.

“I am highly experienced and efficient in the duties you have listed and I have recently graduated with my Bachelor’s in Business Administration,” Rowley wrote in a letter to the city.

Rieger calls the city of Caro “the community that I love.” Rieger wrote that during her career she has “had experience communicating effectively with others, whether they be coworkers, clients, auditors, or the general public, handling confidential employee and company data, keeping accurate records of meetings and processes, account balances, and testing procedures.”

As former director of Baker College of Cass City, Smith states she was one of the only full-time employees there, and that the job required multitasking and fast-paced work.

“With my past experience working with administration and customers at various businesses in the Thumb, I think I would be an asset in this position for the City of Caro,” Smith wrote in a cover letter.

“I have an MBA in Leadership Studies and enjoy furthering my education. Securing a municipal clerk certification and any other requirements for this position would be a welcomed challenge.”

Tom Gilchrist is a staff writer at The Advertiser and can be reached at gilchrist@tcadvertiser.com.

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