STILWELL – A petition is circulating in Stilwell to call a special city election to make city clerk an appointed, rather than elected, position.

Robert St. Pierre, a local CPA, is behind the proposed charter change. St. Pierre said he has no interest in filling the position.

“I think it’s ridiculous that a growing city the size of Stilwell has an elected city clerk instead of someone that’s a CPA,” he said. “It’s not a good method of getting a qualified CPA by having it as an elected position.”

St. Pierre, who has been auditing non-profit and governmental agencies for 11 years, says Stilwell’s current system doesn’t work. He said the city’s last audit had an adverse opinion in it that was “as bad as it gets.” The audit revealed Stilwell city officials overspent their budget by nearly $500,000.

St. Pierre said the latest audit is not the only one with significant findings.

The proposal would change the city charter and have the mayor and city council appoint a city clerk. He said 146 people voted in the last city election, meaning 20 percent of that total needs to sign the petition to call the special election. St. Pierre doesn’t anticipate any problems getting sufficient signatures.

“There’s a new government accounting procedure that makes the job tougher,” he said. “It’s not something the average person can understand. You need to be a CPA or an accountant with adequate experience.”

He said the mayor and council need monthly financial reports. He said they need the figures to make sound business decisions.

St. Pierre plans to have the petitions given to the city clerk-treasurer by Feb. 3 for a special election April 4.

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