City clerk announces retirement; Council OKs replacement

Published 6:26am Thursday, August 14, 2014

The announcement of the upcoming retirement of Wetumpka’s city clerk and the immediate hire of a new city clerk drew the ire from one city councilman during Monday morning’s city council meeting.

After serving the City of Wetumpka for 20 years — the last 14 as city clerk — Janice Whorton announced she would be leaving her post as of Sept. 1.

In the same breath, Mayor Jerry Willis announced the recommendation of the hire of Candy Masters as Whorton’s replacement.

Masters’ hire was approved by everyone on the council except for Percy Gil.

“I’m not happy with this process,” Gil said during the council’s work session. “We’ve been given no ample time to advertise for this position to see if anyone else — and this is no reflection on Mrs. Masters — to see if there are other qualified candidates.

“I would not be doing this city and the citizens I represent a service by agreeing to this process. I don’t support how this has taken place.”

Willis nor anyone else on the council had any response to Gil’s statement.

During the business meeting, Masters received a majority vote to become the city’s new clerk.

Gil, once again, was the lone dissenting vote on the motion.

“I oppose the whole process and am disturbed by the lack of diversity among department heads within the city,” Gil said. “At no time was there an opportunity given to even interview a diverse candidate for this position.”

In less than two week after leaving her post as city clerk, Whorton will take over as chairwoman of the Elmore County Board of Registrars.

Gov. Robert Bentley appointed Whorton to the position, starting Sept. 13.

“I’m excited and honored to receive this appointment from the governor,” Whorton said. “This will not be new for me, since I’ve assisted with elections in the past.”

In other council business, it approved to establish a position for a finance director/assistant city clerk. The council give it a majority vote with Steve Gantt being the lone dissenting vote.

The council unanimously approved the payment of a one-time bonus to retired city employees. The minimum amount will be $300.

Whorton said there are 31 retired employees who will receive a bonus. The total cost to the city will be $15,757.

The council also approved the airport lease for the lone hanger with a tie-down at the city’s municipal airport, and approved the engineering design for storm water outfall on South Main Street and West South Boundary Street, which is in line with the site preparation work for the building of the new Hampton Inn downtown.

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