MADEIRA BEACH — Aimee Servedio, a longtime city employee, could become the city's next permanent city clerk.
The City Commission unanimously accepted her proposal Monday to continue to serve as city clerk pro tem until April, then begin a three-month probationary period as the official city clerk, after which she and the commission would decide whether to make the appointment permanent.
Servedio, 58, has worked for the city for nearly 30 years. She was assistant to the fire chief before assuming additional city clerk duties following the October resignation of the former city clerk, Ginger Stilton.
"I have proven myself to be a reliable, hard-working, confidential employee with integrity and good judgment," Servedio wrote in a memo to the commission, asking that the search for a new clerk be postponed to allow her a "chance to try working in the clerk position."
City Manager Shane Crawford told the commission that although he had notified various professional associations within the state about the opening, he had yet to advertise the position.
Several weeks ago, the commission agreed to pay a new city clerk between $55,000 and $65,000, depending on qualifications.
The commission also wanted the new clerk to be certified by the state, but said it was willing to consider experienced non-certified candidates. Servedio is not a certified city clerk.
Applications were to be accepted through Jan. 18 so that a permanent clerk could be hired and working by the end of February.
"I think it is a win-win for the city," Commissioner Terry Lister said.
"I am a big institutional knowledge guy. I think you will become a good asset for the city. You work well with the staff that is in place," he told Servedio, calling her proposal "a no-brainer."
Servedio said she did not want to begin her trial period as clerk for several months because that's how long it will take to catch up on a backlog of work Stilton left.
Official minutes from more than 20 meetings since 2011 remain to be completed, she said. In addition, some commission resolutions are either missing or unsigned, the city's ordinance code books are not up-to-date, and none of 2011 ordinances have been codified for Municode Internet searches.
"I'm sure the former clerk knew where things were, but presently it is difficult to find anything without knowing her system," Servedio said.
Then there is the municipal election in March which is largely handled by the city clerk. "Once caught up, I would like the opportunity to have the clerk's position on a trial basis before it is advertised and filled by someone else," she said in her memo.
She asked that the commission continue to pay her current salary until the trial begins and then pay her at the "bottom range" of the proposed clerk salary scale. Servedio makes $20 an hour plus an extra $2 an hour she received after taking on the city clerk function.
She also wanted a guarantee that if at the end of the trial period either she or the commission decides against making the promotion permanent, she would be allowed to return to her position in the fire department. The commission agreed, authorizing Crawford to hire a temporary replacement to handle Servedio's fire duties.
"She has been outstanding. She has gone way beyond expectations," said Mayor Travis Palladeno.