Society Hill town council eliminates clerk's position to balance budget

Society Hill Town Council voted during Tuesday night's meeting to eliminate the full-time clerk-treasurer position.

It's been held by Jean Reynolds for 23 years.

Mayor Tommy Bradshaw says cutting the position will save the town about $34,000 a year.

Council voted to allow an independent certified public account (CPA) firm to handle the town's finances for about $7,200 a year, according to Bradshaw.

He said the firm will provide good internal control of the town's finances and a good system of checks and balances.

Bradshaw said Reynold's will stay on until the end of this month.

Some residents criticized the timing of council's decision because Reynolds just lost her mother last week.

Mayor Tommy Bradshaw said he stands by council's decision in order to balance the budget, which has to be done by July 1.

"I can't help the timing of it. I gave her all the time she needed when her mother was sick. I opened the council meeting last night (Tuesday) with a prayer and moment of silence for her mother. Now is the time to address it. Now is the time to balance the budget," said Bradshaw.

Council plans to hire a permanent part-time clerk who will work about 20 hours a week and handle accounts receivable and minor things that council needs.

Bradshaw said when he took office in January Society Hill was about $100,000 in debt.

He said it's imperative for council to balance the budget to get finances back on track.

Council is expected to meet again next month to pass second reading on the budget.