Hougan again named acting clerk

Bill Livick


For the third time in three years, deputy clerk Maria “Pili” Hougan has been appointed acting city clerk.

And this time, the City of Stoughton will try to figure out how to keep it from happening again.

The Common Council unanimously approved Hougan’s appointment last Tuesday and included a $5-per-hour salary increase, effective from Jan. 14.

She is filling the void left by former clerk Nick Probst, who resigned in December to take a job with the state Legislature.

Probst began working for the city in February 2012 and left Jan. 11. Before him, Kelly Michaels was city clerk/personnel director from January 2011 until late September of the same year. Prior to Michaels’ arrival, Luann Alme had been the clerk and personnel director for seven years.

Each time the person serving as clerk/personnel director has resigned, Hougan – who has been with the city seven years – has been appointed acting clerk. She has never applied for the permanent job.

Mayor Donna Olson said she has hired an outside consultant to examine the clerk/personnel director position and suggest possible changes.

“We know that something’s not working with the position of clerk/personnel director,” Olson said at last week’s Common Council meeting.

She was expecting to receive a proposal last Friday from the consultant.

Olson had previously told the Hub the city’s Personnel Committee and leadership team would discuss the possibility of altering the clerk and personnel director position or even separating the duties.
“We need to do some studying and figure out a better approach,” she said.

Until a decision is made, Olson has assumed the role of personnel director and Stoughton Utilities director Bob Kardasz is in charge of risk management and dealing with the city’s insurance provider, the Cities and Villages Mutual Insurance Company.

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