Brenda Blanco

Title: City Clerk

Municipality: City of New Bern

Position Interested In: At-Large - Clerk

Tell us why you would like to serve in a leadership position at the League. In particular, specify goals you would like to accomplish as an officer or board member and indicate how, if attained, they will help to achieve Vision 2030 – the League’s future vision of how cities and towns will operate in 2030.

As a City Clerk, we are often the liaison between our municipality, elected officials, and the public. We receive a lot of honest feedback from the community that they are sometimes uncomfortable sharing with others about decisions made by the local government. The community is also more open to share with us their desires for the future. As a Clerk, it is my responsibility to listen and communicate that their concerns are being heard, while also remaining neutral. Recognizing the desired 6 operating principles by 2030, I believe I can help contribute to discussions on how municipalities enhance the value of the quality of life for its communities. In today’s society, there is a strong need to provide all citizens with reliable internet service that enables them to be equally equipped from a technological standpoint. Without this, our citizens, including our youth, are at a disadvantage. Other goals I have are to identify opportunities for partnerships and work toward implementing and pursuing those. Municipalities have an opportunity and a responsibility to improve the qualify of life for its residents. It is essential to identify the needs of our community and work strategically with other governments or agencies to address those needs. Often what cannot be accomplished by one, can be accomplished through collaborative efforts. Our communities are consistently changing, which means its needs are ever changing. As we make decisions for our communities, there must be a willingness to adjust those decisions based on growth and demographic changes. Smaller municipalities are at risk of losing its youth if we do not work toward economic growth that will provide them a future and opportunities. Again, as a City Clerk who is closely connected to the community, I would be able to share community concerns and eagerly participate in conversations that are aimed at fulfilling the 2030 vision for NC municipalities.

 

Tell us about your experience as a municipal official. You may want to include information on your service on the municipal governing body, other related boards and special areas of interest.

I have worked in local government for 20 years. My entire public service has been with one municipality. During my time with this municipality, I have advanced through three positions before being promoted to the City Clerk in 2014. I have sat on numerous internal committees over the years and have always been deeply engaged in City functions. I have trained several subordinates, regularly provide vital and historical institutional information to others, and have guided new department heads in procedures. As do most clerks, I work very closely with our Governing Board with the aim of keeping them well informed and making their jobs easier, if possible. I have been directly involved in many community outreach programs, serving the public after work hours and on the weekends. Community outreach not only is a function that meets needs, but also provides an opportunity for me to get to know the community and learn about their needs. It builds relationship and trust. I am particularly interested in economic growth that will advance communities, and I also have an interest in seeing the needs of the underprivileged addressed through programs that give them the tools to better their lives.

Tell us about your educational background, professional experience, and/or community or civic activities. 

I have an Associates Degree in Legal Secretarial Science. From 1985 until approximately 1998, I worked as paralegal and litigation paralegal. From 1998 until 2002, I worked as a home medical transcriptionist for large university hospitals around the United States. In 2002, I began my career in local government. I have been a member of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks for several years and hold certifications as a Master Municipal Clerk and Certified Municipal Clerk. I am also a NC Certified Clerk, having graduated from the UNC School of Government Clerks Institute in 2016. I am also a member of the NC Association of Municipal Clerks ("NCAMC") and have held the position of District 2 Director for 3 years. I am very active in the NCAMC having served or currently serving on the Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Program and Education Committee, Website Committee, Publicity Committee, State Certification Committee, and several others. I have also hosted a regional workshop for the NCAMC and regularly schedule social dinners for clerks in District 2 to encourage networking. I was selected by my peers as the 2021 NC Clerk of the Year.

 

Have You Participated in Any NCLM Events or Committees? 

  • CityVision Annual Conference

  • Town & State Dinner or Town Hall Days

Please provide any other information you would like the Nominations Committee to consider.

I am eager to be a part of what I consider a great coalition for NC's municipalities.

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