Mayor-elect Daryl Finizio will confirm a new city clerk today following a process in which the and outgoing city manager took part.
Finizio said the City Charter was amended in 2010 to declare the city clerks merit-based, unaffiliated employees. However, the law director’s interpretation of the charter’s revision to a strong mayor form of government determined that all department head positions were considered vacant until filled by mayoral appointment.
Both City Clerk Michael Tranchida and Assistant City Clerk Dawn Quinn were asked to step down, and will leave their positions at the end of the day today. Finizio said that because state law prohibits a vacancy in both positions, the process for hiring a new clerk was done in the minimal time requirements allowed.
The Personnel Board, in consultation with Finizio and the law director, set the qualifications for the position with a preference given to New London residents. A preferred list of candidates was prepared, though the charter disparity led to an odd situation in the clerk’s hiring.
“That selection was made this morning,” Finizio said on Thursday, “and because the retirement of the existing clerks takes place on Friday, the hire had to be made by the city manager.”
Finizio will confirm City Manager Denise Rose’s choice at 4:30 p.m. today at . He said he could not disclose the name of the hire because the person, as well as other applicants, had not been informed of the decision as of Thursday afternoon. However, he said the person selected has a master’s degree and work experience in tasks relevant to the city clerk’s duties.
Tranchida and Quinn said they were concerned that , as there has not been an overlapping training period. Finzio responded on Thursday that this should not be an issue.
“The city administration has planned for that,” he said. “We will have support staff available for the new clerk.”
Finizio said applications for the clerk’s position were accepted until the close of the business day on Monday. The assistant clerk’s position will remain vacant for the time being, although applications are being accepted for it.