The Backus City Council called an emergency meeting on June 20 in order to expidite the process of filling a position to be vacated by City Clerk/Treasurer Jeff Turk.
Unavailable to attend the meeting were council members Ann Birge and Richie Bean. Turk submitted his resignation at the meeting and it passed unanimously.
“I would like to say that Jeff has done an awful lot for the city, bringing the city up to date on certain things...” said council member Steve Braker. “I just want to thank you for the job you’ve done.”
Council member Rae Borst also gave Turk her thanks.
Turk said he had been hired for a position as the city clerk/treasurer of Deerwood. He said his new position is only three miles from his home, a factor that convinced him to apply for the position.
Turk’s resignation is effective July 5, though he requested that the council allow him to stay on for two pay periods in order to assist in selecting and training a new clerk/treasurer. He said he had already made arrangements in Deerwood so that he could help Backus during this time of transition.
“My goal is not to hire somebody so I can get out of here. My goal is to hire somebody so we can start training,” Turk said.
The city then formed a hiring committee consisting of Turk, Borst, Mayor Kurt Sawyer and Backus city water/sewer operator Lee Bundy. They also approved listing the open position with the League of Minnesota Cities, Pine River Journal, Pine Cone Press-Citizen, Walker Pilot Independent, and the Echoland - Piper Shopper.
Turk made reccomendations for the job posting and compensation. He suggested the city offer pay according to qualifications, but also suggested that the job listing not require a bachelor’s degree, and that the city should require applicants to be willing to become a certified city clerk if they receive the job.
Turk suggested that the city should offer an increased insurance plan, and possibly higher pay in order to increase the likelyhood that the next clerk/treasurer they hire will stay with the city for an extended period of time.
Turk’s resignation letter read, “Backus is a great city with great people, and I wish it much future prosperity.”