Butler clerk nomination challenged

| Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, 8:35 p.m.

Butler County's two Republican commissioners said they have chosen an administrative assistant to be the county's new chief clerk without considering other candidates.

Democrat James Eckstein said the opening should have been posted so others could be interviewed.

Commission Chairman William McCarrier and Commissioner A. Dale Pinkerton said they selected Amy Wilson, Pinkerton's administrative assistant, to succeed Bill O'Donnell as chief clerk/director of administration. O'Donnell, who retires effective Nov. 2, said he will remain as a consultant through the end of the year.

Two votes are needed on the three-man board to approve Wilson's appointment.

Eckstein said he demanded last week to be part of the process, but McCarrier told him that the majority party makes the choice.

A chief clerk functions as a chief of staff for the commissioners, dealing with day-to-day operations and overseeing the budget process. O'Donnell, who has been in Butler County government for 20 years, is paid $101,000 a year.

Tasks of commissioners' administrative assistants include research and representing commissioners at events. The assistants can be appointed to task forces and other committees.

Wilson, 52, of Center has been Pinkerton's assistant since January 2008 and makes slightly less than $44,000 a year.

She said she's learned “the nuts and bolts of the management of the county” in those years. She handles open-records requests and has been involved with several projects, including the search for a new warden.

Wilson said she interviewed for the position with McCarrier on Oct. 22 and gave her resume to all three commissioners. She said Eckstein briefly spoke to her about his point of view on the selection process.

Commissioners are expected to vote on the post Nov. 8. The county salary board, made up of the commissioners and other county officials, could vote on the same day on the salary if it's different from O'Donnell's.

Wilson said it will be less, but declined to give a specific amount before the vote.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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