County drops bid, temporarily, to create deputy clerk position

FONDA — The Montgomery County Legislature Tuesday night tabled a resolution that would have created a county assistant deputy clerk position paid $41,192.

The funding for the job would have come from two sources of money, $30,407 from the county’s unappropriated fund balance and the rest from Montgomery County’s bed tax. The county’s fund balance is its reserve of unspent tax revenues.

District 9 Legislator Robert Purtell made the motion to table the resolution creating the position. Purtell had been instrumental in expanding the proposed job from a part-time to a full-time position at the legislature’s May 16 personnel committee meeting.

Purtell said he still thinks Montgomery County should create an assistant deputy clerk position as soon as possible, but he doesn’t want to use the county’s fund balance to pay for it.

“Right now, the legislative body is trying to reduce costs and be careful with spending [the] fund balance, myself included. I’ve always opposed using fund balance. Right now, we’re looking at other opportunities to fund the position through open positions, or other positions,” Purtell said. “There’s a position that may be open, not filled, at this time, in another department. There might be two or three positions. We want to set the pattern of not reaching out for fund balance to solve all of our issues.”

The stated purpose of the assistant deputy clerk was providing County Clerk Helen Bartone with an additional employee to help with an increased workload and anticipated projects such as digitizing over 1 million county documents. The assistant deputy clerk would have the legal authority to conduct the same activities as the county clerk and deputy clerk, which would help Bartone’s department during periods when either she or the deputy clerk is on vacation.

Purtell said he still hopes the county hires an assistant deputy clerk, “as soon as possible.”