FRANKLIN COUNTY -- On May 4, 2020, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners approved a number of proclamations honoring emergency services, telecommunicators, older Americans, even a proclamation recognizing the vital role of tap water, the infrastructure required to carry it and the work of water professionals "behind the scenes."
The board also recognized another group of "behind the scenes" professionals that week -- the role of county and municipal clerks, a time honored and vital part of local government that exists throughout the world.
As the proclamation shows, the Office of County and Municipal Clerks provides the professional link between citizens and the local governing bodies and is among the oldest offices among public servants.
Clerks are often referred to as the "hub of the wheel," serving as the information center on functions of local government and community and pledging to be ever mindful of neutrality and impartiality and rendering equal service to all.
Across the State of North Carolina both county and municipal clerks continually strive to improve through participation in educational programs, seminars, workshops, annual meetings of state and professional organizations.
Many clerks wear many different "hats" which is true within the local municipalities of Franklin County.
Carolyn Patterson is celebrating her 40th year of employment with the Town of Louisburg. Twenty-five of those 40 years she's served as town clerk and administrative assistant and performs human resource functions as well.
Patterson has been a Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) since 1994.
Kim Worley recently retired after over 30 years as town clerk in Franklinton.
During her tenure, Worley served as tax collector, human resource manager and finance director.
Worley served as president of the North Carolina Association of Municipal Clerks in 2012.
She is a Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC), Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) and North Carolina Certified Municipal Clerk (NCCMC).
Upon retirement, the town appointed Town Manager Greg Bethea to serve as clerk. Christie Tant now serves as assistant town clerk.
She recently completed the Clerks' Certification Institute through the UNC School of Government and is currently working toward her certification as Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC).
Emily Hurd has served as town clerk and tax collector in Youngsville since March, 2003. She also performs human resource functions, assists the finance department and manages garbage billing.
Pam Perry is another example of a clerk who wears multiple hats within municipal government.
In February, 2017, she began serving the Town of Bunn as town administrator, town clerk, finance officer and human resources manager. Perry is also a North Carolina Certified Municipal Clerk (NCCMC).
Kristen G. King is celebrating her 14th year as Franklin County Clerk to the Board.
She became clerk in April, 2006 and has since served in leadership roles leading up to president of the North Carolina Association of County Clerks in 2014/2015. One of her proudest accomplishments is attaining the Howard Holly Outstanding Clerk of the Year Award in 2016.
King has served as a Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) and North Carolina Certified County Clerk (NCCCC) and recently achieved status as North Carolina Master County Clerk (NCMCC) with a presentation of certification delayed until the fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has recently offered many new challenges to the office of both town and county clerks.
Not only does the work of the clerk continue, but clerks now have new laws to follow regarding open meetings as many are being conducted electronically and clerks are learning how to produce a new medium for the citizens the serve.