Nevada County Clerk working for City of Rio Vista
Sun News Service
NEVADA CITY ” Clerk-Recorder Kathleen Smith has been splitting her time for the past month between Nevada County and her new duties as the City Clerk for Rio Vista.
Smith resigned her Nevada County position late Monday, and said the move was personal. Although Smith said she was somewhat disgruntled with her job, she gave no other reason for leaving other than to say, “It’s private and I’m going to keep it that way.”
Smith also said she is not sure if she will stay with the Rio Vista job after she resigns from Nevada County on June 30.
The Union, the Sierra Sun’s sister paper in Grass Valley, learned Wednesday that Smith had accepted a job with Rio Vista in early March, and Smith conceded she has been working there part-time ever since. Rio Vista is between Fairfield and Lodi in the Sacramento Valley.
Smith earns $90,000 a year as county clerk-recorder. She also will earn $90,000 annually as the City Clerk of Rio Vista, according to a copy of her employment contract, seen by The Union. Smith also will receive all regular benefits, including PERS contributions, health insurance and deferred compensation.
During a so-called transition period ” for up to three months from March 1 ” Smith will receive 75 percent of her salary and benefits for working 30 hours per week, plus attending night meetings, according to the contract.
County Supervisor Ted Owens, who represents District 5 that includes Truckee, said Smith’s moonlighting explained to him why she was not familiar with her department’s budget.
“If she got another job she should move on right now,” Owens said. “She ought to resign immediately rather than continue to collect taxpayer dollars as far as her salary.”
While supervisors haven’t decided on how to fill Smith’s position, Owens said a likely solution will be an interim appointment until next year’s elections when candidates could run for the seat.
Owens expressed concern Smith’s departure could make next year’s election calendar a difficult proposition for the county’s Clerk-Recorder Office. Three elections are scheduled, including the new February primary. That’s on top of the county meeting Help America Vote Act requirements and dealing with electronic voting machines.
“It’s an extraordinarily busy time,” Owens said.
Smith, meanwhile, defended her decisions.
“I’m still exploring my options; I’m always exploring my options,” Smith said from her new Rio Vista office. “I had two choices: to be up front or not, and I chose to handle my career personally and privately. There’s only one person looking out for Kathleen Smith and that’s me.
“I hope people respect my right to move forward,” Smith said. “People can contact me through the county Web site if they want to talk.” The site is http://new.mynevadacounty.com/elections/.