Allen moves forward

Allen City Commission members Dr. Eilene Kinzer, Josh Kinzer and Elmer Parsons review minutes that were approved at a special meeting Wednesday.

The Allen City Commission moved forward with plans to hire a new police chief and clerk this week.

During a special meeting on Dec. 11, the commission narrowed the number of candidates who applied for both positions and announced plans to interview several people.

City officials reported that 111 people applied to the city’s Facebook post for the part-time clerk’s position, and 16 people applied for the police chief position. Only one law enforcement candidate was certified, they said.

Commissioners Eilene and Josh Kinzer narrowed down those applications to seven top candidates seeking the clerk’s position, with Eilene Kinzer reporting the city will contact the top three candidates for interviews. 

The commission voted to interview only one police chief candidate, who they said is already certified.

The city has been operating without a clerk since June, when the former clerk resigned, and former Police Chief Thomas Gearheart resigned in September, telling officials via letter that he didn’t feel his association with the city is beneficial for his reputation.

The city has been struggling to keep bills paid without a city clerk to handle city business. In September, officials reported that the city phone, internet and gasoline cards had been turned off. That month, Josh and Eilene Kinzer inquired about whether the commission could dissolve the city. At that meeting, City Attorney Beth Shortridge reported that 20 percent of the people who voted in the last presidential election would have to file a petition with the county clerk to do so. Shortridge also reported that a circuit judge could dissolve the city if it failed to elect officers or levy or collect taxes. 

On Dec. 11, the commission reported several bills that needed to be paid, with Eilene Kinzer reporting that the city telephone bill, at more than $624, was two months past due. 

Allen has not yet issued property tax bills to residents for 2019, Commissioner Elmer Parsons reported prior to Wednesday’s meeting. 

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