South Range Village Council appoints new clerk

Joshua Vissers /Daily Mining Gazette Joe Morgan has been appointed village clerk for South Range.

SOUTH RANGE — The South Range Village Council unanimously appointed Joe Morgan as new clerk Thursday to replace Jason Coffey, who resigned at February’s regular meeting.

“I’ll view it as a way to serve the public,” Morgan said during his interview. “I’m big into representing the community, and it would be my way of doing that.”

Morgan has worked as the deputy treasurer and water clerk with Portage Township for the last year, and volunteers on the South Range 4th of July committee, South Range Eagles and South Range VFW.

Morgan has lived in South Range for about two-and-a-half years and moved to Copper Country from the Detroit area in 1997. He attended Michigan Technological University.

“It would be hard to fill Jason’s shoes, but I would do my very best, and I think I’d actually do a pretty admirable job,” Morgan said.

Morgan expressed his confidence in adapting to the different software the village uses.

“I’m really good with computers and software in general,” he said.

“He already has experience with a municipality, which is nice,” said Trustee Carol Petrelius.

Morgan’s starting wage will be $15.50 an hour. Morgan said he could start Monday.

Only one other person submitted a letter of interest, Tonya Hicks from Painesdale.

To hire someone outside the village, the council would have to amend the clerk’s ordinance, said Council President Justin Marier.

Hicks was not in attendance at Thursday’s meeting.

“When I posted it, it was stipulated that you needed to be in attendance at this meeting to be considered for the position of clerk,” Coffey said.

Morgan will hold the position until the next election in November of 2020.

The board also voted to retain Coffey as a part-time employee with full benefits for up to three months while he trains Morgan. This status will be reevaluated at the council’s June meeting.