Saline’s long-time city clerk Dianne Hill was honored by Mayor Gretchen Driskell and city council at Monday’s meeting.
On June 20, Hill was honored as 2012 City Clerk of the Year by the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks at the organization’s annual conference at the Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City.
Hill, a lifelong Saline resident who began her career with the city in June of 1971 as a Saline High School co-op student, was surprised by friends and coworkers who filed into the city hall auditorium just prior to Monday’s meeting.
Mayor Driskell read a proclamation, written by Deputy Clerk Aimee Rutledge, honoring Hill for her selection as Clerk of the Year. Driskell and city manager Todd Campbell presented Hill with the proclamation, a bouquet of flowers and an award.
“It’s quite an honor that she received this. It’s a very competitive process and it’s a nice way to honor the work she has done for us,” Driskell said, thanking Hill for 41 years of service to the city.
Driskell said many of the people who visited city hall Monday night value Hill. But, Driskell said, many are unaware of the work Hill does.
“The clerk job is one of those jobs that nobody sees if you do a good job. But if you do a bad job, wow, you’re out front. Obviously, Dianne has never done a bad job because nobody knows exactly how hard she works,” Driskell said. “Council and city staff weren’t all able to go to Traverse City to celebrate this award with you. We all want to recognize the contribution you’ve made to the city over the many years of service.”
Hill was appreciative of the honor and deflected the praise on to her staff and coworkers.
"I've really enjoyed my tenure here. It's been wonderful. I'm not ready to leave quite yet," she said. "I couldn't have done it without my staff and co-workers. Everybody is there for each other. We help each other. It's a great group of people to work with. I've been very blessed to be able to be here to serve my community."
Hill was the first clerk in the county to implement the optical scan voting equipment. She also assisted other area clerks in implementing the process. Hill has been a mentor for others in the profession, teaching classes and providing assistance when asked. In 2010 she implemented the “electronic poll book” used in voting precincts. She is also Co-Sexton of Oakwood Cemetery. In that position, she was instrumental in providing ideas for cemetery expansion.
As clerk, Hill has gone the extra mile to ensure seniors have access to the ballot box. She provides on-site voter registration at Brecon Village and Saline Evangelical Home.
As the city’s record keeper, she coordinated the 2010 Census. Hill has also twice served on a “management team” responsible for day-to-day operations of the city while the city was in between managers.
The criteria for the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks’ nomination includes years of experience, demonstration of greater-than-average competence in the position; activity in associations; demonstrated interest in improving professional and personal skills and in the advancement of the clerk’s profession; a record of contributing to the improvement of his/her community and respect of community leaders. Nominees must also be a member of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks.