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Clerk Pallotta ready to get to work



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At left, Barbara Pallotta gets sworn in as new Independence Township clerk by Deputy Clerk Paula Heenan while, from left, trustees Neil Wallace and Mark Petterson, along Supervisor Dave Wagner, look on. Photo by Trevor Keiser (click for larger version)
March 02, 2011 - After four meetings of "still no clerk," the crowd stood and cheered in standing ovation as Independence Township Supervisor David Wagner gave the deciding "yes" vote to name Barbara Pallotta as interim clerk and end the four-meeting stalemate.

"When Wagner said 'yes' I could not believe it," Pallotta said. "Now that I'm here and can see how much stress has been put on this staff, it was the right decision because they couldn't go until August without a clerk. He did the right thing for the community and staff."

In the spirit of compromise, Wagner changed his vote in the last three meetings from Joan McCrary to Pallotta.

"We couldn't wait six more months. There are so many things that go on up there people don't even begin to know and there wasn't going to be any budges from anybody," Wagner said. "She (Pallotta) is doing a real good job and the employees like her."

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Pallotta was born in Redford Township, where her mother still lives in the same house they bought the year Barbara was born.

"I have five brothers and one sister," Pallotta said. "I lost one brother in 2005 to cancer. That was one of the most traumatic things in my life."

She has two children from her first marriage, Ryan, who lives in northern California, attending graduate school at St. Mary's studying creative writing. Her daughter, Erin, lives in Los Angeles and works at a Borders bookstore.

"Originally when she went out there she was working for Hot Rod magazine, but with all the economic problems Hot Rod magazine filed bankruptcy, so they no longer exist," Pallotta said. "She is still making it out there and planning on going to grad school. I miss them – they're my 'Michi-goners.'"

Palotta said she went back to work after her divorce, working for the City of Novi as a clerk typist,.

"The clerk in Novi actually ended up in Troy and called me to work with her. That's how I landed in Troy (as deputy clerk)," she said.

After 14 years of being divorced, Pallotta said she finally "stopped being a gypsy" and her "whole life changed" when she married her current husband Steve in 2007 and settled in his hometown of Independence Township.

With the marriage, she gained a stepdaughter Kym, son-in-law Jason, and two grandkids, Skylar and Kody.

As far as future goals, Pallotta said she intends to run for Independence Township clerk in 2012. Her first order of business was heading a department staff meeting this past Monday.

"I asked the girls to give me a list of responsibilities and list they're behind on," she said. "So we can address that first and foremost."

Having the chance to finally work in the community she lives in is "better than I could have ever wished for."

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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