By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – The appointment Aug. 16 of City Councilwoman Jacklyn Molner to the office of city treasurer was vetoed less than a week later by Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand.
The position of treasurer is an elected office, and the city charter prohibits an official from holding two elected positions. Molner’s acceptance of the position was, Lamarand said, premature.
A letter dated Aug. 19 from Lamarand to City Clerk Mary Ann Rilley stated that, “Neither before nor after the appointment did Ms. Molner resign from her position on City Council.” The swearing-in held on Aug. 16 was, he said, “therefore invalid.”
The latest turn of Taylor events — theoretically resolved with a resignation and re-appointment — was not a surprise to Molner, who said she delayed submitting her resignation in part due to concern that Lamarand would veto the appointment.
“I was waiting,” Molner said. “I didn’t feel it was appropriate prior to the veto time, and I’d be forced off council.”
Under one scenario, Molner could resign when the council next meets on Sept. 6 and be again appointed treasurer, a job she performed for three days prior to the veto. Molner reported for duty Aug. 17 after being sworn in during Tuesday’s meeting. The city’s web site was updated to include Molner as treasurer (which remained online as of Thursday), she was provided access to payroll files and ended the week by making a bank deposit, where she was welcomed by bank staff.
City Clerk Mary Ann Rilley said that Lamarand sent the veto letter to all members of council on Friday afternoon, and that city council has two weeks to respond to the veto. City officials had invited residents wishing to replace Molner on council to make their interest known prior to the next meeting, although it remains to be seen which direction will be taken.
“I’m not aware of what the options are,” Molner said. “I find it beyond belief that this was done in this way. Legally, I’m not sure where it all stands. Nothing says we can’t vote [on the treasurer appointment] more than once; nothing says the mayor can’t veto it.”
Lamarand did not respond to requests for comment prior to press time.
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected].)