Aragon Clerk an­nounces res­ig­na­tion at month’s end

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Myrick [email protected]­stan­dard­jour­

The City of Aragon is set to lose an­other em­ployee this week in a high-level po­si­tion af­ter a res­ig­na­tion let­ter was turned in ahead of the City Coun­cil’s lat­est ses­sion for March.

City Clerk Christie Langston pro­vided her two-week no­tice to Mayor Garry Bald­win in a let­ter on March 19, and let the coun­cil know of her in­ten­tions to leave on March 28. Her let­ter did state March 29, but in fol­low-up con­ver­sa­tions with Langston she cor­rected the date to March 28.

Langston, who was ap­pointed to the job in 2017 af­ter serv­ing as mu­nic­i­pal court clerk, said in her let­ter the job was too much on her phys­i­cal well-be­ing.

“I do ap­pre­ci­ate (the) op­por­tu­nity that has been given to me, but my health can’t han­dle the stress this job de­mands of me,” Langston’s let­ter said.

In a fol­low-up state­ment, Langston added that “I would like to thank the cit­i­zens, Mayor and City Coun­cil for the op­por­tu­nity to serve as the city’s clerk. It has been an honor for me .... I will each and ev­ery­one of you from the bot­tom of my heart.”

Langston’s de­par­ture at month’s end marks the sec­ond high-level em­ployee to leave in 2019, and is among a long list of Aragon of­fi­cials to leave un­der Bald­win’s ten­ure.

That list in­cludes for­mer Fi­nance Of­fi­cer Hal Kuhn, for­mer City At­tor­ney Vickey Atkins, for­mer City Clerk Sandy Nor­man — who was the only cer­ti­fied

clerk in the city’s his­tory, and earned it af­ter her de­par­ture.

Also among those who have left are Troy Smith who used to be the code en­force­ment and build­ing in­spec­tor, Josh Oz­ment, who held the same po­si­tion, last year’s tur­moil in the Po­lice De­part­ment with four dif­fer­ent chiefs hired, pro­moted or de­moted, and in most re­cent weeks the de­par­ture of Pub­lic Works Su­per­in­ten­dent Daniel John­son.

Bald­win said in com­ments at the tail end of the Aragon City Coun­cil meet­ing on March 21 that Langston served faith­fully as his “right hand.”

He added her job was the most im­por­tant of all in the city, and that he un­der­stood the stress of that work fol­lows any­one who holds the po­si­tion home with them.

A post­ing for the po­si­tion will be forth­com­ing

to fill the City Clerk’s role, which has a va­ri­ety of tasks in­clud­ing act­ing as the city’s hu­man re­source of­fi­cer, han­dling of ac­counts re­ceiv­able and payable, pay­roll, gov­ern­ment fil­ings, keep­ing meet­ing min­utes and much more.

Adri­anna Bar­ton will take on the du­ties in an in­terim role af­ter Langston leaves her post on March 28. Any new hire to the role will have to be ap­proved by the Aragon City Coun­cil be­fore they can go to work, and are sworn into the job by Mu­nic­i­pal Court Judge Terry Wheeler.

The po­si­tion is dou­bly crit­i­cal to fill in the near term as the city be­gins prepa­ra­tions for an up­com­ing mu­nic­i­pal elec­tion for the Mayor’s seat and two oth­ers on the coun­cil this com­ing Novem­ber. The clerk also co­or­di­nates with the Polk County Board of Elec­tions to en­sure the elec­tion goes smoothly.

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