Dukes County is once again on the hunt for a new treasurer after the current job holder told officials she plans to resign this spring.

At a county commission meeting Wednesday, commissioner Peter Wharton said that treasurer Judy Soules submitted a letter of resignation earlier this week and she will step down March 29. Ms. Soules, who was hired in February 2023, has offered to work 10 hours a week through the rest of the year, helping with an ongoing audit.

The county government previously struggled to find a qualified candidate for the position, which handles financials for all the county including the airport, and the role was left open for about seven months before hiring Ms. Soules.

“Now begins the hard work of starting over again,” Mr. Wharton said Wednesday.

The office is currently an elected position and restricted to county residents, but became an unexpected hot topic in recent years during initial attempts to make it an appointed position. A commission-backed ballot question in 2020 that would have changed the election requirements failed overwhelmingly.

The county, however, has continued its push to make the position an appointed one and not restricted to county residents, in an effort to increase the potential hiring pool.

State Sen. Julian Cyr and state Rep. Dylan Fernandes filed a bill on the issue last year to allow the county to appoint non-residents when a vacancy opened until the next election. In July, the state legislature’s joint committee on municipalities and regional government gave a favorable report on the bill, sending it to the senate rules committee.

Alongside that interim measure, the county is now mounting another effort at a home rule petition to change the position permanently to an appointed one. If the petition makes it through the legislature, it would likely have to come back to Island voters for approval.

County commissioner Doug Ruskin Wednesday said he talked to Mr. Cyr, who was aware of the critical nature of the bill now that the county was again needing to fill the position. Commissioners also voted to send another letter to the legislature urging action and Mr. Ruskin encouraged fellow commissioners to tap their networks in the meantime to find potential candidates.

“We need to work hard and we need to work fast locally,” he said.

Ms. Soule was set to serve out an abbreviated term that would have ended in November 2024. If the position remained elected, she would have had to then run for election.

The position has carried a $100,000 salary that was raised to $120,000 this fiscal year and will soon go up to about $125,000. The treasurer also performs the duties of a human resource department, and chairs the county contributory retirement system.