01STOCK_VOTING3

TOWN OF DELAVAN

Town of Delavan residents will have a chance this year to decide if the town clerk should be an appointed or elected position.

Town Administrator John Olson said voters currently are able to pick the clerk. But a referendum question on the April 7 ballot asks if the position should be appointed by the town board instead.

Dixie Bernsteen is the town’s current clerk, but Olson said she is retiring at the end of her term in April 2021.

For that reason, Olson said it’s the right time to ask voters about a change.

The town went through a similar shift with its treasurer position about 10 years ago, he said.

A few years ago, Olson said the town tried to make the same change to the clerk position. At the annual meeting, however, a vote to make the change failed.

Now, the town will go to referendum, which likely allows for more voter input, he said.

While the change might not affect the lives of every resident, Olson said moving to an appointed position could improve efficiency and broaden the applicant pool.

“Not that you can’t happen to have an experienced clerk who wants to run for local office and be elected,” he said. “I just think your chances improve of finding someone with some municipal clerk experience by going to the appointed route.”

If the referendum is approved, the town eventually would post the job opening.

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