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Ponto resigns as Colfax administrator-clerk-treasurer

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX —  Jackie Ponto, the administrator-clerk-treasurer in Colfax, has submitted a letter of resignation.

The Colfax Village Board held a special meeting September 11 to accept Ponto’s resignation and to authorize advertising for the position.

Beverly Schauer, village trustee, said that Ponto had handed village board members her letter of resignation following the September 8 village board meeting.

Board members agreed they were surprised by Ponto’s letter of resignation and that they had not anticipated she would be leaving the position on such short notice.

According to Ponto’s letter dated September 8, “the letter is to give a 30 day notice that I will be ending my employment with the Village. My last day of employment will be October 10, 2014.”

“Jackie has put the village in a great direction,” said Scott Gunnufson, village president, at the special village board meeting on September 11.

Over the last two years, Colfax has hired Rand Bates as director of public works, Sheila Riemer as the deputy clerk, and Bill Anderson as the chief of police.

All of the department heads that are in place now, along with the deputy clerk, will ensure that the village continues to run smoothly until a new administrator-clerk-treasurer can be hired, Gunnufson said.

Gunnufson suggested that the job listing be based on the listing published prior to Ponto being hired.

Mark Halpin, village trustee, said the job position listing should encompass everything that the board is looking for to keep the village going in the right direction.

“Thirty days is not much time to post the position, select a candidate, and maybe have one week of training (for the new administrator-clerk-treasurer),” Gunnufson noted.

In her letter, Ponto wrote, “I know that it will take a while to hire someone. With the budget season upon us, I would like to offer my services remotely if that would be possible. Please consider the offer, as the laptop (computer) remotely dials into the computer.”

Ponto did not attend the Thursday, September 11, village board meeting and had, in fact, been out of the village clerk’s office since Tuesday.

Gunnufson said he hoped that Ponto would be flexible in helping the village through the transition period in much the same way that Pete Gehring, retired Colfax police chief, had helped make the transition to the new chief of police in Colfax.

Since the next year’s budget is developed in the fall, and because an audit of the village’s books also is conducted after the end of the budget year, Gunnufson wondered if it would be possible to have the auditors come in early while Ponto is still working.

Jeremy Klukas, village trustee, noted that it would be easier for the new administrator-clerk-treasurer if Ponto could help with the audit.

Gunnufson said he has asked Ponto to create a list of common procedures for the clerk’s office, such as the steps to follow for changing an ordinance, and to include contact information for the people who would need to be contacted, such as the village’s attorney.

Halpin suggested that a timeline for current projects would be helpful as well.

Some of the projects that still need to be finished include finalizing the new addition to Evergreen Cemetery; ordinance changes for residential lots; a zoning map; finalizing the employee handbook; and reviewing the village’s new code of ordinances.

Village trustees Susan Olson and Annie Schieber were absent from the meeting.

The Colfax Village Board unanimously accepted Ponto’s resignation and unanimously approved advertising the administrator-clerk-treasurer position.

In her letter, Ponto did not give a reason for her resignation and did not say what she plans to do next.