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Columbia County Observer

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Lake City News

Lake City, City Clerk Audrey Sikes: Independent, Responsible, Busy, "Willing to go the extra mile"


Left to right: Deputy Clerk Katy McCrary, Clerk Audrey Sikes, Mayor Steve Witt

LAKE CITY, FL – Last night in City Hall Mayor Witt proclaimed May 5-11 City Clerks Week. This was not just another proclamation, but also an act of well earned recognition of City Clerk Audrey Sikes, Deputy Clerk Katy McCrary, and staff assistant Nikki Starling, who are collectively the information center for the City government and the community.

Independent

In Lake City, the City Clerk is independent; the position is established in the City Charter. The City Clerk works directly for the City Council. This is one of three positions which the City Council is responsible for hiring, the other two being the city manager, and city attorney.

In 2008, then City Manager Wendell Johnson was not happy with the arrangement and thought that the City Clerk should be answerable to the City Manager, as was done in the majority of cities in Florida.

Mr. Johnson could not get any takers for this idea and things stayed the way they were.

Audrey Sikes City Clerk

Ms. Sikes began her employment with the City in 2000 and became the City Clerk in 2005.

This reporter has never heard a "discouraging word" about the City Clerk's Office.

In 2012 Ms. Sikes was the Florida Association of City Clerks Clerk of the Year.

Between June 2014 and June 2015 Ms. Sikes was the president of the Florida City Clerks Association.

Ms. Sikes also has the highest certification awarded by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks and is a Master Municipal Clerk.

The City Clerk: What does the Clerk do?


City Clerk Audrey Sikes keeps her eye on things during a City Council meeting.

The Office of the City Clerk, besides Clerk Sikes, also has two other City employees: Deputy Clerk Katy McCrary and Records Coordinator and Staff Assistant Nikki Starling.

Ms. McCrary does most things the Clerk does when necessary, while Ms. Starling's job is mainly records management.

Ms. Sikes said, "It is hard to imagine the amount of documents the Clerk's Office is responsible for. Nikki's job is a full time job."

The Clerk is the recording secretary of the Municipal Corporation (that is the City's technical designation), Elected Officials and also the Official Records Custodian.

If you make a public records request, it goes through the Clerk's Office where Ms. McCrary is delegated with the task of fulfilling public records requests, a task which Ms. Sikes explained "is her primary responsibility."

The Clerk attends all meetings of the City Council, takes roll call and maintains the minutes and recordings of those meetings.

The City Clerk administers City elections and coordinates with the County Supervisor of Elections. The Clerk qualifies all City candidates, maintains candidate reports, and gives the oath of office to those successful in their election endeavors

Many times the Clerk is the first official that the public comes in contact with in City Hall, as her office is on the first floor and has a lot of windows.

The Clerk's Office has many more responsibilities and is highly regarded.

Former City Councilman and community activist Glenel Bowden told the Observer, "The Clerk's office is terrific and professional. They always are willing to go the extra mile."

Epilogue

May 5-11 is City Clerks Week. If you are in City Hall, stop by and give them a friendly wave. They do a really good job and are good for Lake City.

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