Finally, the city of White Salmon is about to hire a new clerk-treasurer.
On the evening of Sept. 6, the White Salmon City Council approved a contract for a clerk-treasurer -- a position that has been open since last December, when the previous clerk-treasurer resigned.
The city agreed to provide Eric Greene, a resident of Bingen, with a three-year contract. Greene's first day on the job in White Salmon will come on Sept. 22.
Greene has been in the financial management field since 1970, and for the past four years he has served as finance manager for the Klickitat County Public Works Department in Goldendale.
Greene's commute will get a lot shorter soon.
"I plan on walking to work, actually," he said.
The city's clerk-treasurer has 16 official duties listed in the job description, including key functions such as: collecting, safeguarding, and dispersing all city funds; preparing the city's annual budget and report of the city; assisting the mayor and City Council members in preparing the budget including projecting the upcoming year's revenues; and acting as the city's elections officer.
The vote to approve Greene's contract was 4-1.
"We had a good interview. He is very qualified. I feel he'll do a very good job, and he comes highly recommended," said Mayor Pro Tem Francis Gaddis. "Everything was positive. We're fortunate to be able to acquire a very qualified person. His qualifications were outstanding."
Council member Richard Marx voted against the deal, saying he disagreed with the contract.
"I'm not opposed to hiring Greene as clerk-treasurer," Marx said. "I was opposed to giving him a three-year contract. The reason they are doing this is because of stability. They're saying no one would step in because the next mayor might fire him. But if he's doing a good job, who in his right mind would fire him?"
Gaddis explained that Greene was reluctant to give up his job with Klickitat County without some security, which the contract provides.
"It has always been on a year-to-year or month-to-month basis before," acknowledged Gaddis about the deal. "But he wanted security because he'd be changing from his position with the county."
Greene said he is looking forward to working in White Salmon.
"It's going to be very interesting," he said. "The council was very helpful, and I can work with them. That was one of the deciding points for me. I'm hopeful I can pull it all together and bring the council the information they need."