Retired Clerk Fills in on Interim Basis
Carol Kehoe provides assistance as township seeks to fill position.
For months, the Parsippany-Troy Hills Township municipal clerk’s office has been in turmoil since the abrupt and still controversial departure of former clerk Elesha Johnson. Filling the gap for the time being is a familiar face.
Carol Kehoe, who served as the township's interim clerk for a brief period last year, is back in action. She told Patch that she hopes to make the transition to the township’s next full-time clerk as easy as possible.
“I’m just helping out until they go through the hiring process to find a new clerk,” Kehoe said. “I first helped out in the clerk’s office last year when Judy Silver retired. I then came back and helped out again when the new clerk was out on medical leave."
After Johnson left the position following disagreements with clerk's office staffers that she said caused health issues, Mary Cilurso stepped in as interim clerk until early May, creating a need for Kehoe once again to take the department's reins.
Kehoe said she shouldn't experience the problems Johnson apparently did.
"I personally have had only cooperation from the employees," she said. "No problem at all.”
Kehoe, who lives in Wharton, comes to the temporary position as an experienced clerk. She retired officially after working as the clerk of Pompton Lakes. Her career also included stops in Hardyston and Florham Park.
Some of the responsibilities of the township clerk, such as sending Town Council meeting minutes to the Parsippany-Troy Hills Public Library or providing accurate election information to citizens, were either not fulfilled or were flubbed in recent times. No more, said Kehoe.
“Every certified clerk has certain statutory functions and, no matter what form of government you work for, you still have all those statutory responsibilities, such as the upcoming election,” she said. “I can tell you right now that we are doing well and in compliance.”
Kehoe said she is trying to create an atmosphere of cooperation in the clerk's office.
“It’s collaborative, and that’s necessary in a clerk’s office," she said. "No matter what form of government or town, it’s a very busy office with a lot of responsibilities. It’s necessary for everyone to cooperate and work together. I have found that to be true in Parsippany.”
Her tenure won’t last forever. Kehoe noted that the township is already in the process of interviewing a new full-time clerk who can efficiently handle all of the office’s responsibilities.
“They have had initial interviews,” Kehoe said. “I’m not privy to where they are in that process, but I know that the council and administration are looking to have a new clerk in place as soon as possible.”
Until that happens, however, Kehoe said she is happy right where she is: serving the residents of Parsippany-Troy Hills.
“I’ve enjoyed my time here," she said. "Parsippany is a quality community. There are a lot of very dedicated employees in the building serving the people.
“It’s been a very, very enjoyable experience.”