Hollister Interim City Clerk Christine Black recently earned the Master Municipal Clerk designation awarded by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, Inc.
“It has been a lot of classes and training, Athenian dialogues and regional meetings,” said Black on Tuesday, who expects to receive her certificate in the mail this week. “I have enjoyed putting in the hard work and many classes to achieve the title of Master Municipal Clerk. My mentor [City Treasurer Geri Johnson] was my inspiration and guiding light through the process.”
As Interim City Clerk, Black is responsible for keeping legislative history for the city, such as retaining records of Hollister City Council decisions. Clerks also create meeting agendas, keeps meeting minutes, process public record requests, post public notices, give oaths of office, accept claims and subpoenas, and more.
Additionally, the city clerk is the elections official for the city and works closely with the city council, city manager and city attorney.
“I think the best part of being a city clerk is knowing that I am in an ethical profession where everyone assists everyone in their roles,” Black said. “If our community is looking at a new policy, I can reach out to another city clerk and they will provide me copies of what they have. We give to each other and help each other with advice and best practices.”
The International Institute of Municipal Clerks grants the Master Municipal Clerk designation only to those who complete demanding education requirements and who have a record of significant contributions to their local government, their community and state.
“This is something Christine’s been working on for a long time,” City Manager Bill Avera said. “We appreciate all of her hard work in going down and taking the classes necessary to become a Master Municipal Clerk. It ensures she maintains and stays up to date with rules and regulations as it relates to municipal clerks. Things change all the time in government, it allows the city to have a higher level of credibility. We’re fortunate that she has that.”
Part of Black’s education included studying abroad in Canada where she visited Parliament and the city halls of Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec.
“City clerks have a ‘pay it forward’ philosophy and help to train those coming in behind them to be the best that they can be,” Black said. “My wish is to carry that role on for the City of Hollister, as my mentor before me, whether it is as a deputy city clerk or as the city clerk.”
In light of the current speed and drastic nature of change, lifelong learning is not only desirable, it is necessary for all in local government to keep pace with growing demands and changing needs of the citizens served, according to International Institute of Municipal Clerks President Mary Kayser.
“Your city can take immense pride in Christine’s educational accomplishments and achievement of this milestone,” Kayser said. “On behalf of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks Board of Directors, I am honored to endorse the conferring of Master Municipal Clerk to Christine Black. We share your pride in this achievement and we applaud your support of the role Christine plays in your city.”
The International Institute of Municipal Clerks was founded in 1947 and has 14,000 members across the United States, Canada and 15 other countries. The mission of the global nonprofit is to enhance the education opportunities and professional development of its diverse membership.