RESOLUTION # 2023-006: APPOINTING DEPUTY CLERK AND DEPUTY TREASURER
TOWN OF PEQUAYWAN
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MINNESOTA
WHEREAS, the Pequaywan Town Board had decided that a deputy clerk and a deputy treasurer will be appointed whenever a vacancy occurs; and
WHEREAS, the power to appoint a deputy clerk or treasurer is controlled by statute.
WHEREAS, the power to appoint a deputy clerk is found at Minn. Stat. §367.12.“Each town clerk may appoint a deputy, for whose acts the clerk shall be responsible, and who, in the clerk’s absence or disability, shall perform the clerk’s duties”; and
WHEREAS, the power to appoint a deputy treasurer is found at Minn. Stat.§ 367.161. “Each town treasurer may appoint a deputy not currently serving as an elected official of the town for whose acts the treasurer is responsible, and who, in case of the treasurer’s absence or disability, shall perform the treasurer’s duties”; and
WHEREAS, the clerk is responsible for the actions of the deputy clerk. The treasurer is responsible for the actions of the deputy treasurer. The clerk and treasurer are expected to supervise the work of the deputies; and
WHEREAS, only the clerk or treasurer may appoint their deputy. Clerks and treasurers serving in Option B Townships should work with their supervisors before appointing a deputy. This is because Option B clerks and treasurers are considered employees of the townships whose employment may be ended by the township board; and
WHEREAS, the treasurer may appoint only one deputy. The statutes say they may appoint “a deputy”, which is interpreted to mean one deputy. While this language seems limiting the fact is that the clerk or treasurer can effectively change who serves as their deputy at nearly any time. Since the clerk or treasurer may appoint or remove deputies at their pleasure, the clerk or treasurer can make quick and temporary removals and appointments to accommodate situations when neither the clerk or treasurer nor the appointed deputy can be present to serve. The clerk or treasurer would simply remove the current deputy and appoint a new deputy to serve for the time they and the deputy are unavailable; and
WHEREAS, the deputy serves only if the clerk or treasurer who appointed him or her is still in office. When the clerk or treasurer resigns or completes the term of office, the deputy’s power is automatically removed; and
WHEREAS, the deputies exercise all powers of the clerk or treasurer who appointed them when the clerk or treasurer is unable to perform the duties because of absence or disability. The clerk or treasurer may direct the deputy to perform some or all actions of the office; and
WHEREAS, as recommended by Minnesota Association of Townships, the clerk and treasurer must appoint different people to serve as their deputies. There is no statute or case prohibiting a person from being appointed as deputy clerk and deputy treasurer, but the concept poses some problems. In townships that have separate clerk and treasurer offices, the voters have not approved of a combined clerk-treasurer, so the appointment of a person as both the deputy clerk and deputy treasurer may be considered as undermining the structure of separate offices. It is also possible the offices of deputy clerk and deputy treasurer would be deemed incompatible; and
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Pequaywan Town Board hereby adopt a resolution for appointing a deputy clerk and treasurer whenever a vacancy occurs; and
BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, that the clerk and treasurer have the consent of the Pequaywan Town Board to appoint a deputy clerk and deputy treasurer whenever a vacancy occurs; and
BE IT FUTHER RESOLVED, that Pequaywan Town Board sets the pay for the deputy clerk or treasurer. Deputies will be paid fair compensation that includes training, attendance in town meetings or other meetings approved by the board, or when performing duties in the absence of the clerk or treasurer.
Adopted this 11th day of July 2023.
Approved by Supervisors Charles Kuettel, Douglas Dressen and Douglas Nelson; and attested by Clerk Lita Wallace