A proposal that would split the Sloan village clerk-treasurer's office into two positions is expected to be introduced as a resolution at the Village Board's Nov. 13 meeting.
Village Attorney David Dale has been asked in writing by the board's majority members -- Trustees Dennis Sommerfield, Dean Lach and Diane Radomski -- to draft the resolution splitting the clerk-treasurer's job into two $15,000-a-year posts.
Some village officials see the proposal as a way to diminish the role of Clerk-Treasurer Christine Dodds, who has had a strained working relationship with Lach and Sommerfield since they were elected in 1999.
Dodds, a supporter of Mayor Kenneth Pokorski, has filed a $1.5 million civil lawsuit against Lach for defamation of character following last year's bitter mayoral race between Lach and Pokorski.
"The position will be divided into a village clerk position and a village treasurer position to be occupied by two different and distinct individuals. Until a village treasurer can be found, the current auditor will be named as interim village treasurer," the letter to Dale said.
"Anyone can introduce a resolution," Dale said. "But is it legal? State law is clear: The mayor appoints, and the board approves."
Sommerfield said the proposal would make the clerk's office "more efficient." The multiple tasks required of Dodds are "tying her up," he said.
Sommerfield termed the proposal a cost-savings measure that would keep Dodds employed by the village but in a "lesser position."
Dale said he is further investigating the issue and would give the board his legal opinion on the matter at the Nov. 13 meeting.
"It's an attack on the administrative clerk-treasurer. There's no rationale for it except politics," he added.
Pokorski, who appointed Dodds in 1997, said the majority party's proposal is flawed. "There's no significant cost reduction," he said. "They've given her a hard time for so long. They're just trying to get rid of her."
Three times this year Pokorski appointed Dodds village clerk-treasurer, and all three times the majority members turned down the appointment, 3-2. Pokorski has maintained that Dodds retains her position as a carry-over appointment from 1997.
In addition to the clerk-treasurer's position, the majority members also have asked Dale to draw up a resolution "instructing the village clerk to distribute copies of keys to the Village Hall to Trustee Sommerfield, Trustee Lach and Trustee Radomski."