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Hegbloom hired as Bessemer Township interim treasurer

 

March 27, 2018

Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

A PACKED township hall in Ramsay for the annual and regular meetings on Monday of the Bessemer Township. The township passed a budget and the board hired Lisa Hegbloom as interim treasurer.

By IAN MINIELLY

iminielly@yourdailyglobe.com

Ramsay - Jeff Randall, Bessemer Township supervisor apologized to the township for the handling of the interview and selection of an interim treasurer. Due to current treasurer Jerry Grenfell's resignation, effective Mar. 31, the township is forced to hire an interim treasurer until the general election in November.

Randall said he wanted to apologize for the clumsy handling of the interview and hiring of Lisa Hegbloom as interim treasurer. After the board finished its interviews on March 12, the board went into closed session to discuss the knowledge, skills and abilities of the three candidates and decide on who to hire. This caused consternation within the township because the public notice only said they were conducting an interview and did not mention they were actually filling the position.

Members in the audience said this created a level of distrust because the published article said one thing and the board did something else. Randall said there was no intentional obfuscation, it was just handled poorly. Randall apologized to Dana Cebolski and said there was no basis to justify going into closed session and it should have been open and as such he wanted to return to the point of error and conduct an open session prior to hiring a new interim treasurer.

Randall said only three points separated Cebolski and Hegbloom on his scoring sheet and the fact Cebolski had more time available for the position weighed heavily in his decision to vote for her then, even though he was outvoted 3-1 in favor of Hegbloom by the other board members.

Debbie Janczak, clerk, said she had the two candidates within 1 point of each other and did not consider the hours available in the office in her decision-making process. Janczak also said they would have to discuss if the new treasurer would be willing to also take on the additional duty of receiving funds for utility payments, which enables the township to save money.

Trustee Beverly Ikola said the board should inquire from the candidates what kind of hours they would be willing to work and be in the office. Hegbloom said she would be available on Fridays, by appointment, and evening hours. Cebolski said she would be available during the day to take payments and do treasurer duties.

Hope Tarnaski, trustee, explained there was no effort to mask their efforts or collude on a hiring. In her more than 30 years on the board, Tarnaski said she had always voted what was best for the township and she did the same when they voted last week. Tarnaski said her decision was based on experience and who brought the best qualifications to the job.

Hegbloom was hired as the interim treasurer by a vote of 3-1, with Randall voting no. Randall said there is a primary in August and general election in November to elect the full time treasurer. Janczak said the paperwork for filing, which is due soon, is near the printer in her office.

In other news:

-the board passed a budget amendment for an additional $14,300 to be moved from the miscellaneous fund line to the Public Works and Hospitalization funds lines to cover the overages in those budgeted items.

-The board passed the General Appropriations Act, which is not a mandate to spend Randall explained, but an authorization.

-The board agreed to increase the pay for the assessor $2,000 and renewed the building inspector contract at the same rate.

-The board agreed to buy a lawnmower for $6,013.

 
 

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