Welcome to a new blog series, “The Local Government Nerve Center” — all about the amazing and important work of clerks and recorders. Want to be a contributor? Learn more here.
By Laura Savage, Pueblo West Metropolitan Administrative Clerk
For two years I have served the Pueblo West community as the “City Clerk”, a position I naturally fit into after ten years of local government experience. Leading up to 2015, I was a Committee of Architecture Clerk in the planning/code enforcement department, Purchasing Coordinator, and Accounting Technician for Pueblo West Metropolitan District, and briefly I was a Purchasing Assistant for the City of Pueblo.
Why is “City Clerk” in quotes? It is because I cannot easily convey what I do considering Pueblo West is not a city, but a special district, and my official title is Administrative Clerk. As the second largest Title 32 Special District in the State of Colorado, Pueblo West Metropolitan District is a local government entity created in 1969 to provide five services as were approved in a service plan. We do such a good job providing services and performing local government functions that most residents believe we are a city.
But don’t let my job title or the fact we’re a special district negate the importance of my position. Special districts perform city-like clerk duties in support of administrative operations just as any other city clerk.
As the custodian of records I oversee the records retention schedule pertaining to the Colorado Special Districts Records Management Manual. Open records requests from the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) flow through my office as well. I am keeper of thy mighty official District seal and maintain approved resolution files. Also, I maintain the bylaws and update them each time they are modified.
Like city council meetings, our elected Board of Directors has regular board meetings. I manage the agenda and packet processes, work closely with elected officials, and assist during board meetings.
My least favorite part is typing minutes, but I enjoy the executive level of involvement my position provides. Every day is different and I consistently learn new things!
Elections for a special district could be burdensome due to budget constraints, but Pueblo County has an amazing County Clerk and Recorder who runs an outstanding elections department and is a proponent of intergovernmental agreements. I simply manage the election project on our end as far as paperwork, but they do the grunt work. They deserve boxes of donuts and cookies after each election.
My favorite part of the job is managing public relations. I thoroughly enjoy assisting the District Manager and Community Engagement Manager with social media efforts, community events, and especially residents who care loudly at us.
There are a few differing duties I do not perform such as recording documents, issuing licenses, and managing genealogical documents, but I have the opportunity to fill gaps as I can. For example, I have a Bachelors of Science in Computer Information Systems, and so I was the project manager for the implementation of the District’s new website. I have filled in for the Human Resources Manager for a few months. Following an election, I was the project manager for the implementation of a retail marijuana excise tax for the District. Currently, I’m managing the District’s strategic planning process and I assist with the Veterans Local Government Management Fellowship program.
I imagine clerks in large cities do not have the opportunity to experience such a wide range of local government activities. But as clerks, we universally do our job with quality and pride.
Whether as a city or special district, we ensure each local government functions properly, act in compliance of laws and statutes, maintain all the documentation and legislative history to keep in operation, and provide transparency. I am honored to be the clerk for Pueblo West Metro while participating in future and current activities, and preserving the past.