The Weekly Newspapers would like to introduce you to some of the most important ladies in the Keys – our City Clerks.
Not only do they serve their municipal staffs by acting as the official records keepers, they also serve the public by disseminating the most up-to-date information on the actions of local councils and commissions.
Their offices serve as a hub of all their cities’ records.
From preparing agenda packets to recording all the actions of commission and council meetings, the Clerks’ responsibilities reach far beyond the responsibilities of record keeping and organization. Whenever any city department takes any action that affects its constituents, the Clerks are responsible for advertising meetings and actions in local publications. They also respond quickly and efficiently to requests for public records, assure all actions are coordinated within the Florida Sunshine Law and work to oversee municipal elections.
With a bit of coaxing, these behind the scenes gals eventually agreed to share their stories with The Weekly Newspapers. Theirs is a thankless job, and they always manage to do it with a warm and welcoming smile.
Village of Islamorada Clerk Beverly Raddatz is a South Florida native who always had her eye on the Keys. She and her husband of 32 years, Jeff, bought property in Key Largo many years ago with the intention of one day making their home in paradise. Originally from Miami, Beverly started her career out of high school when she accepted an administrative position with the City of Hollywood. She ascended the ranks and became a clerk for the City of Pembroke Park in the late 80s. Jeff and Beverly relocated permanently to Key Largo nine years ago with their daughter, Chrissy. She is an honor student and clarinet player in the band at Plantation Key School.
“The most important thing about my job is helping people,” she explained, adding that her career highlight was the launch of a digital filing system for all Village records.
Layton Clerk Marjorie Parmenter said since she is an incredibly organized person – her motto is “A place for everything and everything in its place” – her job suits her just perfectly.
“I love everything about my job,” she said proudly. “The Mayor and City Council are very supportive of the staff, and everyone works so well together. We have a great team here in Layton.”
This Westport, Massachusetts native fell in love with the Keys on a two-day visit to Key West in 1977.
Though she and her family, which includes her husband, Mark, daughter Abbie and dog, Roxie, have sailed extensively throughout the Bahamas and Cuba, she admits that most of her free time these days is spent watching her young soccer star.
Marathon City Clerk Diane Clavier is, according to City Manager Clyde Burnett, an invaluable asset to the city.
“I’ve worked in government for many years, and she is by far one of the best employees I’ve ever seen,” Burnett boasted.
She, like the other outstanding ladies profiled here, really prefers to stay out of the spotlight.
Diane and her husband, Ray, left their jobs in the chilly climes of Ohio and permanently relocated to Marathon in 1997. She was hired as an administrative assistant under a previous administration, and after a brief stint in Cape Coral, was invited back to continue her tireless work at City Hall.
“I was so grateful to be able to come back here,” she explained. “Everything around here is really a group effort. We are a small staff, but everyone is always willing to help each other out.”
Key West City Clerk Cheri Smith left behind the tumbleweeds and ten-gallon hats of Midland, Texas in 1988, and she has never looked back.
A graduate of Morgan City High School in Morgan City, Louisiana, this Gulf Coast transplant is the proud owner of an Honorary Conch Certificate. Though she admits her favorite high school activities did not always include regular attendance of her classes, she eventually earned her Master Municipal Clerk and Certified Public Manager designations after moving to the southernmost paradise.
This year, she will celebrate ten years in her current position. She is the proud mother of one daughter and two adorable Yorkies, Rocky and Gabby.