CITY Candidates for 2013 Clerk of the Year
David Bleau, CMC – City of Marquette, Marquette County
Mr. Bleau has served as City Clerk for the City of Marquette since 2006. He previously held positions as Deputy Clerk/Office Manager for Ely Township from 1987 until being appointed Clerk in May of 1988 to fill an unexpired term and was then elected as Clerk in November 1988 and served four terms before leaving office to become the Clerk of the City of Marquette. David served on the Board of Marquette Board of County Road Commissioners from 1990 - 2005.
Mr. Bleau has obtained his Certified Municipal Clerk certification and is currently attending the Masters Academy in pursuit of his MMC status. Mr. Bleau is currently an active member of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks (MAMC), the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC), the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) and the Marquette County Clerks Association (MCCA).
In the past, Mr. Bleau served for many years as the First Vice-President of the Marquette County Townships Association (MCTA), served on the Marquette County Commission on Aging, served several years as a member of the County Road Association of Michigan-Finance and Human Resources Committee, and has served as President, Vice-President and Secretary of the Upper Peninsula Road Builders-Clerk’s Association. In his local community he takes pride in having served as a member of the Ishpeming Credit Union Supervisory Committee, and served as head coach of their local high school wrestling team for seven years and coached youth wrestling for 10 years prior to accepting the high school coaching position.
As City Clerk, Mr. Bleau has many accomplishments including: a comprehensive recodification of the City’s Code; served on the City Charter Commission to make a complete revision of the City Charter which was approved by the voters in November of 2012; secured funding from the City Commission to purchase four-station voting booths which doubled their capacity utilizing the same amount of space as the old voting booths; implemented the latest election technology including E-poll book, AccuVote tabulating equipment and AutoMark Voter Assist Terminals; implemented a Help Desk in the polling locations which was successful in streamlining voter issues, voter complaints and long lines; worked with Northern Michigan University’s Archivist for the transfer of the city’s oldest records to the University Archives and worked in coordination with the NMU Archivist and the County Clerk to fund a project that digitized the earliest City Commission and County Board meeting minutes, making them available on-line.
Mr. Bleau has promoted the municipal Clerk’s profession by supporting the need for Clerks and Deputy Clerks to attend training opportunities to further their education and knowledge of the Clerk’s profession in an effort to better serve their communities; and, has worked to make significant improvements in the key areas of elections and records management to better serve the public. Mr. Bleau is dedicated to the Clerk profession and has made significant improvements in the community that he serves.
Lisa Kay Hathaway, CMC, MMC – City of Grosse Pointe Woods, Wayne County
Ms. Hathaway began her municipal career in Grosse Pointe Woods in 1995 serving as Confidential Secretary until being promoted to Deputy City Clerk/Executive Assistant to the City Administrator in 1997, serving in this capacity until 2005 when she was appointed City Clerk. Ms. Hathaway attended Davenport University from 2004-2010, and she received her CMC designation as a Certified Municipal Clerk in 2002 and attained Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) certification in 2008. Ms. Hathaway is also a 2008 graduate of Leadership Macomb XI from Macomb Community College. Ms. Hathaway will re-enroll at Macomb Community College this year to further her education.
Professionally, Ms. Hathaway has been a member of the MAMC and IIMC since 1999. She has actively served the MAMC during her career as follows: Board of Directors since February 2010, Chair of Membership since 2012, Conference Committee from 2004-2012 serving as Co-Chair in 2010 and Chair in 2011, Clerk of the Year Committee from 2006-2008, serving as Chair in 2008, and the Education Committee since 2005. Ms. Hathaway has attended state conferences every year since 2001 and has attended international conferences from 2006-2010. Ms. Hathaway is also a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians, Macomb County Clerks Association and Association of Wayne County Clerks. In her personal life, Ms. Hathaway volunteers at the Macomb County Warming Shelter and the Macomb County Food Bank. She is also a booster of the Dakota High School, Chippewa Valley Schools.
As City Clerk Ms. Hathaway, in addition to attaining certifications of CMC, MMC, and Election Inspector Training Coordinator, has many accomplishments including: procured various grants to fund projects such as ADA municipal improvements for ramp, railings and concrete as well as automated entry doors; implemented use of the E-Poll Book; advocated for a State Educational Certification Program; instituted the utilization of interns by soliciting students to work as Election Inspectors promoting voting, civic responsibility, and reduced payroll costs; and has updated records management procedures and instituted permanent document imaging utilizing existing equipment creating a database of searchable, permanent records dating back to 1927. She has also implemented E-Packets affording the opportunity to transition to electronic records retention elevating her level of customer service.
Ms. Hathaway has promoted the municipal Clerk’s profession by featuring Clerk-related articles in the City’s Update quarterly newsletter, has supported and attended local Chamber of Commerce events and fundraisers, has petitioned City Council to pass resolutions supporting legislation impacting the duties and responsibilities of the clerk while supporting the MAMC resulting in the adoption of the following resolutions: HB 4048 – supporting No Reason Absentee Voting; HR 811 – supporting MAMC and Secretary of State Land opposing implementation of an audit trail using DRE touch-screen voting systems rendering current systems obsolete and potentially requiring software discloser jeopardizing election security; opposing Court of Appeals opinion regarding permanent absentee list; and the MOVE Act. Ms. Hathaway has also volunteered to present on a number of topics at various MAMC venues and also likes to engage young students into the electoral process by teaching local third graders about the election process and the responsibilities of some of the candidates.
Ms. Hathaway is very dedicated to her profession as City Clerk and prides herself and her staff on treating their customers, other staff members, Council and Commission Members with respect and professionalism. Ms. Hathaway is highly regarded and respected in her community and by her peers.
Heidi A. Isakson, CMC, MMC – City of Wyoming, Kent County
Ms. Isakson began her career as City Clerk in 1996 in the City of Whitehall. She was appointed Clerk in the City of Wyoming in 2001 where she continues her profession today. Ms. Isakson holds an A.A.S. from Muskegon Community College and received Certified Municipal Clerk certification in 1998 and Master Municipal Clerk certification in 2009. She has been a member of IIMC and MAMC since 1996.
Ms. Isakson is an active participant in county, state and national associations. She has served on MAMC’s Conference Committee in 2008; currently serves on the Legislative/CEO Committee, and has assisted the IIMC International Relations Committee and the MAMC Education Committee. Ms. Isakson has taught the MAMC “Clerking 101” from 2004-2006 and instructed a training session on “Records Management” at the 2008 MAMC Annual Conference, MAMC Advanced Academy and Quad County Clerk’s Education Day.
In her career as City Clerk, Ms. Isakson has: implemented a PC-network in Whitehall; implemented revised records retention schedules in Whitehall and Wyoming; developed centralized records storage system; implemented document imaging, paperless packets, conversion from punch card to optical scan voting system; participated in development and execution of annual City Council retreat; participated in clerical and administrative position description review and revision; and is a leader in City Hall tours and school visits. Ms. Isakson works diligently to increase voter awareness and participation and has developed her own inspector training manual to help educate inspectors of every age. She visits Wyoming High Schools several times a year and holds mock elections in which she demonstrates the voting equipment and encourages students to not only register to vote, but to understand the roll of the City Council and local issues. She speaks to middle school and elementary students touring Wyoming and explains that City Hall is a public building, so it is their building.
Ms. Isakson is an advocate for learning. She is an avid reader and brings lessons learned to work. She has improved efficiencies in the Clerk’s office and has assisted many departments with her understanding of municipal operations as well as life skills and fun facts. She promotes the Clerk profession by participating in Career Day at local schools where she explains her career as Clerk and takes the opportunity to enhance the students’ awareness of the wonderful community they call home. Ms. Isakson recently attended the Disney Institute for Quality Service in Orlando, FL and hopes to incorporate that model into the City of Wyoming.
Ms. Isakson is very well respected in her community and in her position as City Clerk. She is recognized for mentoring and willingness to assist others. She provides accurate information, she listens and participates and is a Clerk her community can count on. As stated by her Mayor and City Manager, “Ms. Isakson is an asset to our community, her performance is exemplary and she is a leader in her field”.
Dan Kasunic, CMC – City of Kentwood, Kent County
Mr. Kasunic has served as City Clerk for the City of Kentwood since 2000. He is a member of MAMC and has received his Certified Municipal Clerk certification. In addition, Mr. Kasunic is a member of IIMC, is also an Accredited Election Official, and has completed the State of Michigan Accredited Election Inspector Training.
Mr. Kasunic was appointed as Director of MAMC in January 2007 to complete the term of a Director who stepped down, and was then elected as Director in June 2007 at the annual conference. As Director, Mr. Kasunic co-chaired the MAMC Conference Committee and has also served as a Third Vice-President, Second Vice-President and First Vice-President. Mr. Kasunic currently serves as President of MAMC. Mr. Kasunic has participated in many local associations including: past Board Member of the Kentwood Jaycees, founding member and current President of the Kentwood Friends of the Library, past President of the Kentwood Advisory Board, founding member and current Board Member of the Kentwood Arts Committee, and former Kent County Clerks Association President.
As City Clerk, Mr. Kasunic has had many accomplishments including: digitizing all Committee minutes and Commission packets; created database of scanned easement; created a database for contracts and agreements; compiled procedural rules into a booklet; compiled all City Policies and scanned all resolutions for easy reference and searches; passport processing in the Clerk’s office. Mr. Kasunic performs his job with a high degree of professionalism and care. His administration of elections and record keeping is well done and gives little concern or worry to management.
Mr. Kasunic has promoted the municipal Clerk’s profession by teaching the “Clerking 101” class at MAMC conferences, and has also promoted the office of the City Clerk at Rotary. Mr. Kasunic is also an active participant in city-sponsored leadership development curriculum.
Mr. Kasunic is a deeply committed and dedicated City Clerk. He is committed to providing excellent service to his community and is always available to provide knowledge and understanding in elections or how government works to anyone who may ask.
Benjamin C. Marentette, CMC – City of Traverse City, Grand Traverse County
Mr. Marentette began his municipal career with the City of Traverse City as their Deputy Clerk and served in that position for 12-1/2 years before being appointed City Clerk on September 6, 2011.
Mr. Marentette has a B.A. in Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University and an M.B.A. with concentration on finance and leadership from Lawrence Technological University. Mr. Marentette has served as the Executive Director for the Traverse City and Garfield Township Recreational Authority
He is a member of MAMC and has earned the Certified Municipal Clerk designation. He has served on the 2012 Conference Planning Committee for MAMC and actively attends and participates in annual conferences and workshops. Mr. Marentette is also a member of IIMC.
Mr. Marentette is actively involved in his community and is a member of the Rotary Club, Traverse City Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Group, and Grand Traverse Clerk’s Association. He has provided service on United Way’s Citizen Action Team and is a strong supporter of the Traverse City Senior Center. He has been awarded the “40 Under 40” award for the past six consecutive years by the Traverse City Business News. This award is bestowed upon the “40 most influential people under 40” in the region, which is juried by leaders in various community sectors.
As City Clerk, Mr. Marentette has many accomplishments including: assembled an entirely-new office team with three new members, and in the midst of training, encouraging and developing the team in all their non-election related duties, also administering four elections very successfully in one year; negotiated a 17% decrease in the city’s overall insurance premiums while enhancing coverage; became prequalified by the United States Department of State to serve as an international election observer with a likely assignment in Eastern Europe or Asia; developed and facilitated a meeting of other community leaders with the Consul General of Japan, sparking and beginning a new relationship with the wider Japanese community; successfully manages the special event licensing process for over 35 complex festivals held in Traverse City each year and over 30 other categories of licenses and permits for the city.
Mr. Marentette describes himself as a consummate professional, involved, attentive, diplomatic, tactfully-tenacious, caring, facilitative, and neutral when appropriate and driven. He never hesitates to accept an invitation to make presentations to various groups and boards regarding municipal best practices, including areas specific to the Clerk profession, such as boardmanship, relevant meeting laws and procedures. He has twice served as a speaker at the annual conference of the Traverse City Area Young Professionals attended by over 400 young professionals. He is a strong supporter of professional development and promotes a culture of life-long learning and continuous improvement within his department.
Mr. Marentette leads by example in both his personal and professional life and has made significant contributions to raising the professional state and image of the municipal clerk’s profession, both in his community and throughout the State of Michigan. He is well respected by his peers and his community and is deeply committed to serving the City of Traverse City.
TOWNSHIP Candidates for 2013 Clerk of the Year
Robert C. Crawford – Fort Gratiot Township, St. Clair County
Mr. Crawford has been Clerk of Fort Gratiot Township for 11 years and has worked with the Township for 21 years. Robert has worked hard to further his municipal education. He is a graduate of the MTA Township Governance Academy, the MAMC Basic Institute, the Michigan State University Master Citizen Planner program and certified as a Storm Water Management Operator.
Robert is a member of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks, the past Secretary/Treasurer of the Clerk’s Association of St. Clair County, Vice Chair of the St. Clair County MTA Chapter and an executive committee member of the Southeastern Michigan Council of Government. He has served the township on the Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Commission. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Fort Gratiot, Academy of Model Aeronautics and American Model Yachting Association.
While serving the community, Mr. Crawford has applied for and received many grants for local projects including park grants from Lowes and Walmart and more than $500,000 in local road improvements grants. He is currently working on the momentous task of replacing the Fire Department and Municipal Buildings. In addition, Robert has tackled several Human Resource issues including healthcare, retiree health care and vacation and sick day accumulation.
Robert made the following comment when swearing his fellow officials in last November: “May our minds be open, our hands extended to help another and decisions be made in the best interest of our community.”
Michael Koehs, CMC – Macomb Township, Macomb County
Michael has been a public servant his whole working career. After an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, Michael served 23 years as a Deputy for the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department. In 1997, Michael became the Deputy Clerk for Macomb Township and was appointed in 2002 as the clerk.
As clerk, Michael “right sized” his department by cutting the staff from 14 to 10 people. His office processes all planning and zoning applications through completion, maintains all records on a document imaging program, handles all the accounting, and of course, administers elections. Michael is always trying to look for improvements to policies and procedures to make them more efficient and to provide the quality of public service that one would expect from a modern township.
Michael strives continuously to speak to citizen groups and high school classes regarding the duties and responsibilities of the clerk’s profession. He is a strong advocate of becoming affiliated with local, state and national organizations and tries to encourage new clerks to get involved as well. Some of the many associations Michael is affiliated with include Macomb County Clerk’s Association (Past President), IIMC, MAMC, and the MTA.
Based on his training and certifications, Michael believes that applying what you have learned “fairly and efficiently is what matters most to benefitting your community.”
Barbara Moncivais, Bates Township, Iron County
Ms. Moncivais has been Clerk of Bates Township for 13 years and has deep roots in the township with her grandparents being homesteaders. Barbara is also a Real Estate Broker/Realtor with Century 21 Goldwood, Inc. in Iron River. She is a member of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks, the Secretary of the Iron County MTA Chapter, member of the National Association of Realtors, Michigan Association of Realtors and Upper Peninsula Association of Realtors. The combination of being a Clerk and a Realtor has been asset to the Township’s Treasurer and Assessing Departments. She has modernized the Township by designing and maintaining the Township website. Barbara also performs many Township activities, which are outside the clerk’s statutory duties.
She serves her community by coordinating and emceeing the Township’s annual Memorial Day Ceremony for the past 10 years. This event honorably recognizes the community’s veterans and is one of the community’s favorite events.
She states in her role as clerk, “It should be our goal to be the ‘heart’ of the Board. We should initiate an atmosphere of cooperation amongst our Board members and help those that live in our communities feel that their ‘voice’ is important too.”
Barbara Pallotta, CMC – Independence Township, Oakland County
Barb has been the Clerk of Independence Township for two years and served as Deputy Clerk in Troy and Wixom for 11 years. In Independence Township, she not only managed her job as clerk, but performed many of the administrative responsibilities of the supervisor, a position that was vacant for two years. Barb’s professional memberships include the Oakland County Clerks’ Association and the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks, where she participated on the Education Committee and Call a Clerk Mentoring program. She completed the process for Certified Municipal Clerk in 2002. Her accomplishments consist of the following: relocating precincts from elementary schools to alternate locations as a safety measure for students; reducing the number of precincts from 15 to 13; and instituting various policies and procedures for the Board of Trustees, FOIA, Asset Management, Finance, Travel & Mileage, and Election Training.
Her community outreach includes Friends of the Library, Clarkston Youth Assistance, Community Calendar Committee with the Clarkston Community Schools and the Chamber of Commerce, Shoes for Kids, the Annual Clarkston Community Awards Breakfast and the Clarkston Senior Program.
In her role as clerk, Barb remarked, “The clerk best promotes the profession by conducting herself/himself with the highest of moral standards.”