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City Treasurer Ty Cobb cut to half time
Embattled Dillon City Treasurer Ty Cobb has been moved from full-time to half-time by Mayor Mike Klakken, who said the switch will save the city more than $20,000 a year.
In a memo last month, Klakken informed Cobb and the rest of the City Hall staff of the change.
“Effective immediately, I am returning the City Treasurer’s position to half time,” wrote Klakken in the Feb. 4 memo. “The salary and benefits associated with the position will be adjusted to reflect the change.
“Traditionally, this position was quarter time and the past administration (Mayor Malesich) decided to make the city treasurer’s position full time and assigned additional duties to the treasurer,” wrote Klakken.
“A lot of the things Ty Cobb was doing should be done by the mayor, so I took over those responsibilities—things like digging up grants, going to Headwaters RC&D board meetings,” later explained Klakken.
In the memo, Klakken informed his staff that he would be taking over the seat Cobb had sat in for the board of Headwaters RC&D, a southwest Montana-based non-profit organization that offers advice and resources for sustainable economic development and resource conservation. The City Council unanimously endorsed Klakken’s appointment to the Headwaters board at a meeting last month.
“I want the treasurer to do the actual treasurer’s job—dealing with the budget, the money coming in, the city’s investments, those sort of things,” added Klakken, who defeated Marty Malesich, the man who appointed Cobb 12 years ago, by 10 percentage points in November’s city election after a campaign during which he promised to save the city money if he became mayor.
Klakken said moving the city treasurer position to half time would save Dillon between $22,000 and $24,000 per year.
“My plan has always been to make city treasurer job half-time,” said Klakken, who tried twice to appoint local CPA Neal D. Straus to replace Cobb as city treasurer earlier this year.
The Council refused to consent to the Straus appointment by a 7-1 vote at its Jan. 15 meeting, when only Councilperson Dan Nye cast an “aye” vote for Straus. At its Feb. 5 meeting, the Council voted 5-3 against consenting to the Straus appointment, with Nye, Bill Shafer and Bob Cottom voting in favor of the appointment, while Lynn Westad, David Spehar, Dick Achter, Swede Troedsson and Derek Gore stuck with their previous “nay” votes.
“Just because the Council didn’t consent to Straus doesn’t change that it’s going to be a half-time position,” said Klakken, who had gotten Straus to commit to fulfilling the job’s responsibilities in just 20 hours a week before trying to make him city treasurer.
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