Supervisors to appoint Hughes’ replacement
After recently making an appointment to fill the District One Board of Supervisors seat, the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors were once again looking at a vacancy..
Montgomery County Treasurer Tera Hughes announced her resignation, effective Nov. 6, citing a move out of the county. With the announcement, the supervisors were left to discuss the options regarding Hughes’ replacement, which could be done by an appointment process, or by a special election.
An appointment could be made within 40 days, while a special election would be held at the earliest acceptable date. Also, much like the appointment to the supervisors, citizens could petition for a special election within 14 days of the appointment, with 397 signatures. An appointment could be made and sworn in no later than Dec. 16.
Roughly two years were left on Hughes’ term, and the seat would be up for re-election during the November, 2022 election cycle. A special election would cost a total of $4,000, and the appointment cost to the county is considerably less.
Supervisors Bryant Amos and Mark Peterson both felt that the position was a specialized one, and Hughes agreed.
“It wasn’t easy to fill the role, and it’s not going to be easy for anyone to fill the role now. Anyone who thinks they are going to come into the office and fill a clerk’s position, that just isn’t how it’s going to work. They are going to run into many challenges that are hard to overcome, but it’s possible. If they go through an election process, it’s going to show they have a dedication and a desire to fill that position,” Hughes said.
Amos said he felt a question to ask would be to ask anyone seeking an appointment to confirm if they were appointed, and it was contested in a special election, that they would be committed to run for the position.
“I don’t think the appointment process should be to give the job to somebody, they should have the commitment for it,” Amos said.
Supervisor Mike Olson went through the appointment process before running for his seat on the supervisors, and felt anyone that submitted an application would be committed.
“When you consider a position such as Montgomery County Treasurer, anyone that says they would like to apply for that position, [would] be ready to take it on 100 percent.
Newly-appointed supervisor Charla Schmid was in favor of an appointment process, though she had a few concerns.
“First I looked at the cost of appointing versus a special election. The treasurer’s office requires much knowledge about government budgets, which are different. Budget planning begins in January, and we need someone who has the knowledge to handle the process. I support appointing someone to the county treasurer position,” said Schmid.
Supervisors Chair Donna Robinson agreed with Olson, and felt that if someone threw their hat into the ring, they were committed.
“I really feel like a person’s character, abilities, and capabilities will shine through, and I feel that we could proceed with an appointment, and if the public disagrees, they have the opportunity to file a petition for a special election,” Robinson said.
The supervisors agreed to proceed with an appointment to fill the county treasurer’s position.