Koroch returning as SJ finance director

Deb Koroch, left, is congratulated Monday by St. Joseph City Commissioner Peggy Getty on being rehired as finance director after a three-year retirement. Koroch was first hired as finance director in 2000, and from 2008 to 2016 had also served as city clerk. The positions have been separated, and the city is seeking a new clerk.

ST. JOSEPH — Deb Koroch is getting half of her old job back with the city of St. Joseph.

On Monday, commissioners approved hiring Koroch back as finance director. When she retired in June 2016, she was working as finance director and clerk, in charge of elections and other duties.

“It feels like coming home,” said Koroch, who had moved to Florida with her husband but decided they wanted to return to the community where they had lived since 1982.

Koroch was hired as finance director in 2000, and was given the duties of clerk in 2008 as a cost-saving measure. Before coming to St. Joseph, she was assistant clerk in St. Joseph Township for 16 years.

Commissioners earlier this year decided to separate the finance director and clerk jobs.

Commissioner Laura Goos explained that she and Commissioner Peggy Getty, who were in charge of the search for a new director, decided that Koroch’s experience and expertise made her the best candidate. It wouldn’t have been fair to bring in other applicants for interviews under these circumstances, Goos said.

Commissioners met this week to make the appointment because Koroch will be leaving for Florida on Friday to assist with their relocation. She will be working from home as a part-time employee, at $45.70 an hour and a maximum 40 hours a week, until she returns full-time to St. Joseph. She will be at city hall to assist with the financial audit in September.

As a full-time employee, Koroch will receive the same salary she was earning when she retired, $95,056 a year, City Manager John Hodgson said. She will not be a member of the retirement system for this term of employment, since she is already part of the system. She will not receive longevity pay.

Koroch continued to assist the finance office during the interim before the next finance director, Sara McCallum, was hired. She also helped with audit in the first years of McCallum’s employment.

Koroch expects to work for two to three years, and will try to provide six to 12 months’ notice of her departure and to assist in recruiting and training her successor.

“It’s a great rehire,” Mayor Mike Garey said. “I’m glad you’re back.”

Monday was also the deadline for applications for the clerk’s position. Hodgson said he didn’t know the exact number of applications received, but he had been told that a large number had come in.

In addition to overseeing elections and record-keeping, the next clerk will handle public communications, including the city newsletter, annual calendar, social media and the website. Those duties were previously the responsibility of the marketing and communications director, a position that was eliminated following the retirement of Susan Solon.

Contact: jmatuszak@TheHP.com, 932-0360, Twitter: @HPMatuszak