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Amsterdam city clerk resigns

Amsterdam city clerk resigns

City looking for replacement soon

AMSTERDAM -- After only a little more than two years on the job, Amsterdam City Clerk Laura Barquero has resigned. 

City officials said Barquero put in her letter of resignation Friday, after giving them two weeks notice. 

"Her family is relocating," Deputy Mayor James Martuscello said. "That's what her letter said. Her and her family, her two friends and her husband, and they are relocating. I asked her if she has a job, she said no. I wished her the best of luck, now we've got to find a new clerk." 

According to seethroughny.net, Barquero's last salary was $41,736. Barquero first began working for the city clerk's office in 2009. She became deputy city clerk under former city clerk Susan Alibozek, but transferred into the city assessor's office in 2013. 

After Alibozek retired the Common Council appointed Barquero city clerk in May 2017. Barquero had been a union member of CSEA unit that represents some city employees and was granted a one-year leave of absence from the union, allowing her to return to her contract-protected position had her clerk appointment been rescinded at any time during that year.

Unlike many other city appointed officials, the city clerk serves at the pleasure of the Common Council without a set term. 

Barquero brought both experience and bilingual skills to the job, a useful trait in helping to serve Spanish speaking people living in the city. 

"It's unfortunate, because she was excellent," Maruscello said Tuesday afternoon. "So I'm going to explain to the council today what's going to happen."

Maruscello, who also represents Amsterdam's 5th Ward, said the city can't appoint Deputy City Clerk Patricia Myers to the city clerk's job because Myers is not a city resident. Myers can, however, perform the clerk's job on an acting basis until the council makes an appointment.

Myers said she wouldn't want the job anyway.

"I'm selling my home," Myers said, explaining why she wouldn't want to commit to being city clerk, if she were eligible. 

First Ward Alderman Patrick Russo said it's imperative that the City Council replace the clerk soon, so that Myers will have time to train the new clerk before sells her home and leaves. 

"She just put her house up, so we could have 60 days or three months, we don't know, but we need to do this now before all of our institutional knowledge flees the city," Russo said.

Amsterdam has published advertisements posting the availability of the position. \

Amsterdam also employs a part-time clerk. 

The city clerk's office is responsible for issuing many of the city's licenses, including dog licenses and marriage licenses, as well as death and birth certificates. The clerk's office also maintains many city records, including the minutes of city meetings and city resolutions. The clerk is also Amsterdam's designated Freedom of Information Law officer. 

Russo said Barquero's husband continues to be employed in the city's Department of Public Works, but city officials believe he will likely resign once the family completes the process of relocating to a new area.  

 

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