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Marine City Commission approves treasurer’s contract – By Barb Pert Templeton

Photo courtesy of Barb Pert Templeton. There’s been quite a turnover in the city treasurer’s office over the last year.

Second candidate hired in as many months

By Barb Pert Templeton 

A majority of the Marine City Commission once again approved a contract to hire a new treasurer for the city; the second time they’ve okayed a new person for the position since April.

Rachel Gottler was hired as the treasurer during a special city commission meeting on April 12 and City Manager Holly Tatman announced her resignation at a May 19th meeting.

Background information on the newest candidate included in a commission packet reflected that Tiffany Weatherly, 36, graduated from Mount. Clemens High School and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

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Photo courtesy of CTV Community Television/Youtube
Marine City Commissioner Lisa Hendrick wished the new treasurer candidate the best of luck despite stating it was nothing personal when she voted against the contract.

In March 2019 she was hired at a firm called Proper Group International in Warren and is currently the Accounts Payable Supervisor. 

The Marine City contract listed a starting salary of $65,000 annually, payable in bi-weekly payments. The treasurer reports to the city manager and would receive 40 vacation hours in the first year of employment. 

“I’m looking for your approval to bring her on to start next week,” Tatman said to the commission. “She’s an excellent candidate she has a lot of knowledge in the field.”

Tatman reminded the commission that several months ago this candidate was neck and neck with Gottler when she was deciding who to hire for the treasurer’s post.

“Unfortunately, Rachel did not work out and we talked with Tiffany and she was still very excited about this, this is the opportunity she wanted, she went to school for it, she’s looking for municipal experience and to get out of the corporate field she’s in and I think she would be a nice fit,” Tatman said.

Mayor Cheryl Vercammen said she’s glad that Gottler recognized that she wasn’t a good fit for the job. 

“Yes, it’s a lot,” Tatman said. 

“It was, it was a lot,” Vercammen agreed.

Tatman said she stressed the difficulty of the position during the interview process because there’s just so much to it. She said a person who’s still working with the city from an accounting firm has years of experience but still becomes overwhelmed with all that’s involved.

“Getting somebody in here who’s ready to bed down, learn it and do it; I mean I pulled no punches when I brought Tiffany in (stating) that Rachel did not workout, she was two weeks in and it overwhelmed her,” Tatman said. “I said I hope this doesn’t scare you and it doesn’t, she said she’s ready for it and she’s prepared and I want to give her the opportunity to do it.”

Vercammen said it just may be a sign of the times because her niece lives on the west side of the state and they’ve gone through three treasurers in the last four months.

City Attorney Robert Davis echoed those sentiments stating that he’s lost four treasurers in the last six months and even had to get local accounting firms in to help out the municipalities affected.

“It’s a hard thing to find right now and there’s a lot of pressure,” Davis said.

He also agreed with the mayor stating he was glad the prior candidate was honest enough to step up and just admit the job was too much.

Hendrick questions the contract 

Commissioner Lisa Hendrick posed a few questions about the treasurer’s contract presented to the commission. She wanted it clarified that should the employee quit the job there wouldn’t be any severance pay and Tatman said that’s correct, severance is only paid if the city terminates the person. She asked for clarification of the vacation time the first year, which was listed as both 64 and 40 hours, Tatman said it’s 40 hours and she would correct that, no problem.

“I noticed we also dropped the pay, the other one was different then this one,” Hendrick said, alluding to the fact the last treasurer was being paid $68,000 and the new contract will be for $65,000 annually.

“It’s based on experience,” Tatman said.

Hendrick asked if the background checks were completed and Tatman said yes, they were done.

She went on to state that while it’s certainly nothing personal she still has concerns about filling the position.

“I’m still concerned about the volume of work in this job and being that the one left so quickly there is a lot of work here, it’s very, very difficult,” Hendrick said. “And I just wished seeing all the different resumes we had, we did have people with municipal experience and I’m still really concerned were not getting the right mix for this experience.”

Tatman said the only resume she got with municipal experience was a clerk who had municipal experience not a treasurer with municipal experience. 

“Well, that’s not what I read but that’s okay,” Hendrick said.

“Well, it’s the truth,” Tatman replied.

Hendrick said she got copies of all the resumes from the past interviews in April, they were sent to her, and what she saw were candidates with municipal experience.

Tatman then said the whole ten months she’s been employed in Marine City has been a learning experience for everyone as they cross train, step up and help each other at every turn.

She listed a number of treasurer’s tasks that’s she’s taken on, as have other employees in the city offices and those things will remain outside the treasurer’s responsibilities as they go along.

“There’s things we’ll leave that way and I’m hoping that by everyone stepping up and helping with this position, we’ll not only assist that position but we’ll take a load off,” Tatman said. “She will not be alone.”

Hendrick then said that she welcomes and sincerely wishes the new candidate the best of luck because it’s going to be a real challenge. 

“I wish you all the best to get this job done because you’ve got your hands full,” Hendrick said.

A majority of the commission then voted in favor of the treasurer’s contract with Hendrick casting the only nay vote.

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