City hires assistant clerk

Published 12:04 am Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wendy McClain started as the City of Natchez’s new assistant city clerk Monday. (Sam Gause / Natchez Democrat)

Wendy McClain started as the City of Natchez’s new assistant city clerk Monday. (Sam Gause / Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Donnie Holloway has a year left as Natchez City Clerk, but plans are already in motion for his departure.

Wendy McClain joined the city Monday as assistant city clerk — a position Natchez Mayor Butch Brown said could transition into city clerk.

“Donnie is in an election, and we don’t know what’s in store,” Brown said. “So, we’re getting postured to have an assistant city clerk who can continue the duties of the clerk’s office.”

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Holloway is running for Adams County chancery court clerk — a position up for grabs in the Aug. 4 primary and the Nov. 3 general election.

If Holloway doesn’t win that election, his term as Natchez city clerk would end July 2016.

When Holloway became Natchez city clerk 15 years ago, city voters elected the position. However, the mayor and board of aldermen worked to have the city clerk’s position appointed, which was approved in 2014.

As assistant city clerk, McClain said her responsibilities include assisting Holloway with budgeting and handling all city finances.

“Right now, we’re working on getting the audit ready and preparing next year’s budget,” McClain said.

The city audit, which was due June 30, is a task McClain said she hopes to see finished soon, along with having next year’s fiscal-year budget prepared by Aug. 15.

“I hope with my experience that they (the city) will consider me for city clerk when Donnie retires or wins election,” McClain said.

McClain moved to Natchez from Cleveland, Miss., where she served as city clerk for five years.

Before that, she lived in Gautier, where she was city clerk for two years.

“This is my area of expertise,” McClain said of her assistant city clerk position.

This is the first time, McClain said, that the city has hired an assistant city clerk.

Ward 6 Alderman Dan Dillard said hiring an assistant city clerk was “the right move” by the city.

“I think it’s certainly the right direction we need to go in,” Dillard said.

Dillard said thorough bookkeeping has been a problem in the past, and he hopes with the help of McClain and the rest of the city clerk staff, recurring problems like late audits and budgeting issues would be resolved.

While interviewing for the assistant city clerk position, Brown said a key qualification was knowledge of the city’s bookkeeping system.

“It’s been a very difficult task,” Brown said of city bookkeeping. “We need an experienced (city clerk), so that we can have a year under our belts to make sure that person is promotable.”