This Day in Dayton, 14 July

In the summer of 1988, the Journal and Courier ran a feature on the work of the Clerk-treasurer in small towns. Featured was our own Rita Hicks, along with clerk-treasurers from Battle Ground and Clarks Hill. The clerk’s duties were described as “mail out sewage and water bills, make sure people pay them, pay the town’s bills, answer mail, make investments, balance the budget and bring any matters of importance to the five-member town board.” The clerk also fields complaints about most anything in town. Rita told me once that she was legally responsible for any action she took. She couldn’t just do the bidding of the town board because if they told her to do something and it was wrong, she, not the board, would be held responsible. In the 1988 article, Rita estimated she worked about 20 hours a week for $7,325.40 a year for the town which then had a population of 780. Judith Marks of Battle Ground felt that people like home rule, but that a town board “has the unpleasant task of making the unpleasant decisions.” (The photo is of one I have of Rita in the Sesquicentennial Parade at Dayton in 1977)

Susan ClawsonComment