James Allen new Birmingham City Clerk
At its meeting on Monday, December 16, Birmingham city commissioners unanimously appointed James Allen as its new city clerk. A subcommittee comprised of city manager Joe Valentine, commissioners Stuart Sherman and Rackeline Hoff, and the human resources manager Ben Myers, recommended Allen to the commission. Myers informed commissioners the city attracted 146 applicants for the position, which they then narrowed down to six, and finally to three finalists. Allen comes from the West Bloomfield Township clerk's office; prior to that he worked in the clerk's offices in Ypsilanti and Farmington Hills. He received a Masters of Public Administration from Eastern Michigan University, with a concentration in public management. He has administered more than 20 elections, including presidential, gubernatorial, residential primary, state primary and more. “It is my honor to accept your offer to be the next clerk of the city of Birmingham,” he said to commissioners at the meeting. “I have had the specialty of working on elections. It is my belief a city clerk's office is a team. My personality is low key. I stay out of the limelight to allow people I work with to shine.” The clerk's position became vacant when city clerk Cherilynn Mynsberge resigned in September; deputy clerk Cheryl Arft was appointment acted city clerk in the interim. The city commission began the process of hiring a new municipal clerk at their meeting on September 16, posting the position on the city's web site as well as municipal sites in Michigan to reach individuals in the profession. The clerk’s office is responsible for administration of all elections, management of the city code, agenda preparation, recording of meeting minutes, maintenance of board and commission membership rosters, legal notices required by state and local statutes, issuing several types of licenses, and more.