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Press Releases

“Municipal Clerks Week” – May 2 – 8, 2021

Posted May 3rd, 2021


A Proclamation, issued by the Winter Haven City Commission on April 26, 2021, resolves that the week of May 2 through May 8, 2021 is designated as “Municipal Clerks Week.”

Unanimously adopted by the City Commission, the Proclamation extends appreciation to all Municipal and Deputy Clerks for the services with which they provide their communities.  Specifically, the Proclamation cites that the Clerk “serves as the professional link between the citizens, the local governing bodies and agencies of government at other levels.”

The Proclamation was presented to Winter Haven City Clerk Vanessa Castillo, MMC (Master Municipal Clerk) and Deputy City Clerk Joanna Abernathy, MMC, and signed by Mayor Bradley T. Dantzler.  It also honors Municipal and Deputy Clerks for “continually striving to improve the administration of their duties through participation in education programs, seminars, workshops and annual meetings of their state, province, county and international professional organizations.”

The International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC), a professional association of City, Town, Township, Village, Borough, Deputy and County Clerks, sponsors “Municipal Clerks Week.”  IIMC has 14,700 members throughout the United States, Canada and 15 other countries.

IIMC President Mary Johnston, MMC, and Clerk of Council for the City of Westerville, Ohio, urges Municipal and Deputy Clerks to highlight the importance of their roles and functions and the impact the Municipal Clerk’s office has on the public. “There are many responsibilities of the Municipal and Deputy Clerk that the public takes for granted, such as keeping the council advised of legislation that affects them,” said Johnston. “Yet, if Clerks are inattentive in their duties, then the efficient operation of our local government is greatly affected. “The functions of the Clerk necessitate a thorough knowledge of law procedure, administration and interpersonal relations. To keep up with the consistent transformation in local government, many Clerks participate in continuing education and seminars and attending Clerk Institutes,” said Johnston.

Castillo has served as the Winter Haven City Clerk since 2014, has been a member of IIMC since 2007, and earned her MMC designation in 2016.

Abernathy has served as the Deputy City Clerk since 2020, has been a member of IIMC since 2009, and earned her MMC designation in 2012.  She is also the City’s Records Administrator.

According to the IIMC, in Florida there are only 147 Master Municipal Clerks. Less than five municipalities have two MMCs in the same city, of which the City of Winter Haven is one of them.