March 6, 2014

City of Plattsburgh narrows down clerk candidates

PLATTSBURGH — The search for a new Plattsburgh city clerk should yield a new employee by the end of the month.

“We’ve had several good candidates come forward, and we’ve had some good interviews, and we should be making a decision by the final meeting of the month,” Mayor James Calnon said.

The position came open upon the retirement of Clerk Keith Herkalo.

Herkalo, who became clerk in 1991, retired effective Feb. 28. He has agreed to stay on as the acting clerk until a replacement can be hired.


Calnon said the search for Herkalo’s replacement attracted 37 applicants. 

The City Charter requires the clerk to live in the city.

If a candidate who lives outside its limits is chosen, the person would have to move into the city.

That person must also pass a Civil Service examination. The exams are given periodically by Civil Service, so it could be several months after the new clerk takes the job before the test is given, Calnon explained.

“We concentrated on those applicants living in the city because we would not want to give the job to somebody, have them move into the city and then not keep the job because they did not pass the test,” he said.

Eight candidates were recently interviewed by Calnon; Councilor Rachelle Armstrong (D-Ward 1), who serves as mayor pro tem; and Human Resources Director Ann Chase.

The committee is now conducting background and reference checks.


The Clerk’s Office is responsible for handling birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, dog licenses, all other licenses and records, and Freedom of Information requests, among other duties.

The office is located on the main floor of City Hall, right next to the Mayor’s Office, and is visited by 40 to 50 people per day, Herkalo said.

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