Posted Online: April 18, 2013, 10:01 pm

Cordova clerk quits, again

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By Lyle Ernst, correspondent@qconline.com

For the second time in less than two months, Cordova Village Clerk Sharon Peterson has quit.

Ms. Peterson verbally resigned immediately after the Feb. 27 village meeting because she did not receive a Jan. 1 raise she said she was promised. Mayor Bob VanHooreweghe phoned her the next day and convinced her to return.

In March, Ms. Peterson presented trustees a "wage history report" comparing her pay increase with one given to Jim Boone, village maintenance supervisor. The report stated that, over 12 years, her hourly pay increased 60 percent, from $10 to $16, while in 18 months, Mr. Boone's hourly pay increased 88 percent, from $8.50 to $16.

At Thursday's village board meeting, she asked trustees to increase her hourly pay from $16 to $30 retroactive to Feb. 11 when she began training her replacement, Angela Bark. She told trustees that, eight years agowhen Jill Smalley left her job as the village's water/sewer clerk, she was paid $20 per hour to train Michelle Chavez.

Trustee Larry Dhooge made a motion to pay Ms. Peterson $22.50 per hour, retroactive to Feb. 11. The board split 3-3 on the motion, with trustees John Haan and John Stickler joining Mr. Dhooge while trustees Dean Moyer, John Myers and Pat Fidlar voted no. The mayor broke the tie with a yes vote.

Ms. Peterson rose from her chair, saying "Someone else can take over," and walked out.

If Ms. Peterson does not report to work this morning, trustees have given Mayor VanHooreweghe authority to appoint the winning candidate for clerk, Deniese Womack, to the position effective immediately.

Following the meeting, Ms. Peterson questioned the board's denial of her request in light of its decision to pay for the legal defense of a trustee when a former employee unsuccessfully sought a restraining order against him.

Ms. Peterson said she will not return to the clerk's office unless she is "properly compensated" for her knowledge and experience.