Source: Sherman Publications

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Independence clerk voted best of the best

by Andrea Beaudoin

July 03, 2013

Independence Township Clerk Barbara Pallotta earned the 2013 Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks Clerk of the Year Award.
"Amazing" is the word used by many to describe Independence Township Clerk Barbara Pallotta.

According to her peers, Pallotta is the best of the best in her field. Out of 127 Townships in the state of Michigan, Pallotta was selected to win the 2013 Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks (MAMC) Clerk of the Year Award.

Pallotta has served as the Independence Township clerk for two years. Before working in Independence, she worked for 10 years as deputy clerk in Troy and also held a variety of positions in Novi, Farmington Hills and Wixom. Nominated by township Supervisor Pat Kittle, the award was presented to Pallotta during the MAMC summer conference on June 20 in Frankenmuth.

"During Barbara's first two years in Independence, the township was without a supervisor. During this time Barb was able to hold the township together with a very aggressive board," said Kittle. "Besides completing her duties as clerk and performing many of the administrative functions a supervisor would be responsible for, there were also four elections in Independence Township in 2012 that ran perfectly and balanced to the last vote cast."

Kittle said Pallotta's exceptional knowledge of municipal management processes and state requirements have been invaluable to him in his position as township supervisor.

"Barbara is very focused on self-improvement and continuing education for herself and her team of dedicated employees," he said.

At her job in Independence, she continues working to develop processes and policies to improve the township. Kittle said Pallotta has also been moving the township forward through creating policies to provide transparency for both municipal workers and township residents.

She also regularly attends numerous meetings and conferences to hone her skills as clerk.

Dawn Walker, chair on nominating committee, said she worked with Pallotta on several occasions, and said her work speaks for itself. "She is amazing," said Walker, adding that winners are chosen by their peers.

Michigan State Senator Jim Marleau and State Representative Gail Haines were notified of Palotta's win. City of the Village of Clarkston Manager Carol Eberhardt said the city council will recognize Pallotta by passing a resolution in recognition of the win.

Eberhardt said excellence must be contagious at the Township, because Pallotta, and the entire staff at Independence Township are outstanding to work with. "I send them an email or ask a question and they respond immediately," said Eberhardt. "Barb is amazing."

Her former coworkers at the City of Troy said Pallotta deserves the award. "She is one of those people who is the first in the office, and the last one to leave," said Troy City Clerk Aileen Bittner. "Everyone here loves her. We were so excited to hear she won the award. She deserves it. She is a friend to everyone."

According to, clerks assemble council agendas, prepare and preserve the corporate records in the form of council minutes, bylaws or ordinances, agreements and other legal documents. Some keep records on births, deaths and marriages. Clerks also witness oaths and affidavits and certify documents. "Some have financial responsibilities, and much, much more."

To qualify for the award, Pallotta filled out a questionnaire and her answers were evaluated by a committee composed of peers throughout Michigan. According to the MAMC, the questionnaires are evaluated and reviewed by three nominating committees of city, township and village employees. MAMC nominated five candidates in each category throughout the state of Michigan.

Pallotta is also involved in community groups like Clarkston Youth Assistance, Senior Program, Shoes for Kids and various Parks and recreation programs. She has two children; son Ryan and daughter Erin. She resides in Independence Township with her husband, Steve.