By Shari Harris, Publisher
The City of Licking is currently seeking a new city clerk. Renee Keaton, who has held the position since 2012, has resigned. December 18 will be Keaton’s final full-time day on the job, but she will remain part-time until January 15 in order to transition in the next clerk. The position of City Administrator, which Keaton has held since 2015, will not be immediately filled.
The City has only had two people fill the position of city clerk in the last 32 years. Myrna Van Deusen preceded Keaton and held the position from 1988 to 2012, after serving two years as an alderman. Van Deusen trained Keaton for the role of city clerk.
Mayor Keith Cantrell says, “It’s going to be a hard position to fill.” Cantrell explained that the laws change frequently, and learning the job of a city clerk is never complete. He stated he believes there are people who could do a good job in the role, and expressed the importance of “getting the right person in there to do it.”
The City will also be choosing an interim alderman, as Ward II Alderman Greg Green will be stepping down from his position after the December board meeting, concurrent with his relocation to outside the city limits.
The process for choosing an interim alderman begins with the mayor nominating a candidate for the position, then the board will decide whether or not to approve the nominee. Candidates must live in Ward II and should express an interest in the position. The mayor will choose whom he feels would best fill the position at this time. The interim alderman will serve until April 2021, when voters will elect an alderman. Mayor Cantrell reported that Erin McConnell, pastor of Licking Pentecostal Holiness Church, has expressed an interest in filling the position.
Cantrell pointed out that it is sometimes difficult to find people interested in filling the alderman positions. “You can’t make everybody happy,” he says of the job. “The ones that aren’t in favor (of decisions made by the board), consider we are doing the best we can.