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City hopes ordinance refines, defines clerk’s role, chain of command
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Hinesville City Council members are expected to vote on an ordinance that is designed to clear up the city clerk’s position.

The city’s charter and its ordinances were in conflict with each other about the city clerk position, City Manager Kenneth Howard said.

“We’ve had numerous discussions on the city clerk ordinance and that position as a whole,” he said.

The city charter has the position as being appointed by the mayor and council. But city ordinances, the city clerk is seen as a department head and answer to the city manager.

“So you have a conflicting situation there,” Howard said.

That led to having city attorney Linnie Darden III draft a new ordinance and address the concern with the charter.

“This ordnance will reflect a city clerk who is a department head appointed by mayor and council,” Darden said. “He or she shall be under administration of the city manager.”

The city’s charter also calls for a treasurer and a marshal, two positions no longer in the city’s roster. Darden has crafted a resolution that deletes the city clerk and the other two positions from the charter. All that remains in that amendment of the charter is the judge of municipal court.

“I think the ordinance clears up all the ambiguity,” Council member Jason Floyd.

Howard also has asked council members to run the advertisement for the new ordinance at the same time the city runs an advertisement for a new city clerk.

Former city clerk Sarah Lumpkin came out of retirement to take over on an interim basis, but her time as a replacement is nearing its end, Howard warned.

“We would like to fill this position as soon as possible,” he said.

The clerk’s duties include attending all regular and special called meetings and taking minutes at those meetings, along with ensuring the accurate transcription of those minutes for permanent records. The city clerk also is responsible for managing, planning and supervising the Water Department at City Hall and Fort Stewart, overseeing receipt of all municipal funds, processing open records requests, serving as custodian of all legal documents, serving as registrar in city elections and coordinating the records management program.

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