At a minimum, St. Clair’s administration has figured out a short-term solution in dealing with the retirement of longtime City Collector Lynne Huff.
During Monday’s board of aldermen meeting, City Administrator Rick Childers announced that Tiffany Burton has been hired as an accounts receivable clerk. The board approved her employment with the stipulation the position be created with an annual salary not to exceed $30,000.
Huff, who announced her retirement earlier this year, will remain and help train Burton until sometime near the end of April. Burton was scheduled to begin her duties on Friday.
“I can’t wait to see what I can do to help the city,” the 29-year-old Burton told The Missourian. “I’m very excited about this job. I’m ready to go.”
Burton said she has several years of professional financial experience. She worked at Farmers & Merchants Bank for two years as a personal banker before being employed at One Main Financial in Washington as a branch account manager for about five years.
She is a 2002 St. Clair High School graduate and is married with two children. She lives within the St. Clair city limits.
City Administrator Rick Childers said about 40 applications for the position were received. A committee headed by Ward 1 Alderman Nathan Tate whittled the application list to four, and those individuals were interviewed.
“Tiffany Burton was the best fit for the position,” Tate said during the board of aldermen meeting.
Childers told The Missourian that hiring an accounts payable clerk gives the city some leeway and time in deciding how best to handle the city collector position and its future. He also said it’s important to have Burton spend as much time as possible training under Huff before she retires.
Huff has been the city’s collector for 20 years. She was re-elected to a sixth term last year.
Huff first was elected to the position in 1994. She beat three challengers last year by picking up 70 percent of the total vote.
After her first term, she won re-election in 1996 when the length of service was increased to four years. She won subsequent elections in 2000, 2004 and 2008.
When she announced her retirement earlier this year, Huff said that she had been contemplating the decision for several months.
“I have enjoyed my job and had not ever considered leaving until the past few months,” she said in her resignation letter to Mayor Ron Blum. “Please know that my decision did not come easily and is for personal reasons only.”
The city collector is responsible for the billings and collections of all the service debts owed to the municipality, including water, sewer and refuse billings, business licenses and animal registration tags.
Under current ordinance, it is an elected position.