Plan is to run the proposal by the union

    With City of Crookston Clerk Angie Menge resigning to take a position with Tri-Valley Opportunity Council in Crookston, the Crookston City Council is exploring the possibility of reclassifying the position to something that more closely fits an “administrative assistant/deputy city clerk” job title. Such a reclassification, which would no longer require the person holding the job to be certified as a city clerk, would save the city around $6,000 a year in salary and benefits, City Administrator Shannon Stassen indicates in a memo to the council.

    The council this week voted unanimously in favor of entering into discussions with the unit that represents similar city positions, AFSCME, with the goal of reclassifying the position. Stassen also gave the council the option of sticking with the status quo.

    When former city clerk/treasurer Betty Arvidson resigned years ago to take a position at RiverView Health, Menge was promoted from within and completed the required training to earn her clerk certification.

    The position would continue to report to Finance Director Angel Weasner.

    The predominant concern from the council was voiced by Ward 6’s Tom Vedbraaten, who said if the reclassified position was going to continue to perform “99 percent” of the duties that Menge currently performs with her job title and salary, “If I was the union, I’d fight that tooth and nail.”

    Ward 1 Council Member Jake Fee said he sort of agreed with that notion, and didn’t want the city paying someone less just because a job title changed.

    Stassen said that some of the duties of the reclassified position, because it would no longer require a clerk certification, would be changed and/or scaled back. He added that he’d reached out to AFSCME on the matter but had yet to hear back.

    Ward 4 Council Member Dennis Regan said he didn’t see why the union would take issue with a reclassification for a position that is being vacated and would be filled by a new person. “It’s not like someone’s being reclassified while they’re on the job,” he said.