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President's Message


Oct 13

Elevating The Image And Role Of The Clerk

Posted on October 13, 2021 at 9:35 PM by Karen Lee

Happy fall everyone! As the snow slowly creeps down the mountains around Valdez and we finalize our last preparations for winter’s arrival in this part of Alaska, I’ve spent some time reflecting on my past six months in service as your IIMC President. Time seems to be moving so quickly and there is much I hope yet to accomplish to support all of you in your role as Municipal Clerks.

One of the biggest concerns I hear often in speaking with our members is the lack of understanding by municipal leadership regarding the proper role and authority of the Clerk. I believe it would be safe to say that few government professions take on as many diverse roles, have as many varied job descriptions or appear as randomly and inconsistently on a governmental organizational chart as the position of Clerk.

Interesting to me is the number of states and provinces where specific language in law requires the Municipal Clerk to be designated as an appointed municipal officer established by charter or ordinance. However, many municipalities in these jurisdictions do not elevate the Clerk’s role to that level and instead appoint them to serve in unique positions within their staff hierarchy.

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Sep 10

Welcoming The Fall/Winter Season And New Initiatives

Posted on September 10, 2021 at 10:13 AM by Karen Lee

HI Everyone,

We are going full speed ahead into the Fall season here in Alaska. In the blink of an eye, we transition from summer to winter. Now, in just a few short weeks, all the leaves will fall from the trees and morning frost will appear on the windows. Our first few inches of snow usually falls on Halloween and continues until early April. In Valdez, along with the snow, we also have many sunny cold days perfect for cross country skiing and snowshoeing on our miles of groomed trails. I’m always happy to share that the majority of Alaskans don’t live off the grid as depicted on “reality” television shows. My city is fully equipped to remove large amounts of snow from all of our city streets within a short period of time. A snowstorm which dumps one to two feet of snow overnight is definitely going to be work to remove from my car, but as I clear my windshield, our city snow removal crews have already plowed and graded the majority of our streets prior to my drive to work in the morning. The secret to such efficient snow removal is the requirement that every subdivision must dedicate a certain number of lots for snow storage. Our city crew grades the majority of the snow into the center of the street and a large vacant dedicated lot, clearing our streets in a short time. When I’m asked how I can possibly get through Alaska winters, I have to laugh at the reality show depiction of trudging through waste deep snow to bring in wood to heat the house and checking the trap line to feed the family. So, thank you, for indulging me this opportunity to share facts about my city and state.

I’m excited to write about the progress of developing a “Beyond the MMC” learning opportunity for Municipal Clerks. 

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Aug 06

Courage Is Contagious

Posted on August 6, 2021 at 3:09 PM by Karen Lee

Courage is contagious. A critical mass of brave leaders is the foundation of an intentionally courageous culture. Every time we are brave with our lives, we make the people around us a little braver and our organizations bolder and stronger. -- Dr. Brené Brown

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