Carthage Town Clerk Earns Prestigious Designation
Carthage Town Clerk Melissa P. Adams is one of a very small number of town employees in the entire world to achieve recognition as a master municipal clerk (MMC).
Adams is one of only 731 worldwide out of over 10,000 members of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC) to achieve that status. She joins the "elite" of her profession, according to Charles E. Tokar, the immediate past president of the IIMC
"After a long journey of many years and many hours of seminars, conferences and institutes, you have reached the pinnacle, an achievement that very few of your colleagues are able to accomplish," Tokar said in a letter to Adams.
Her boss, Town Manager Carol Sparks, was formerly town clerk of Carthage and set out on the same road, but never reached the level Adams achieved because she became town manager.
From the beginning, Sparks encouraged Adams to go as far as she could.
It was a long road. Three levels of training, community service and experience are involved in the process of municipal clerk certification leading to the institute's highest designation. Adams was awarded entry level into the IIMC's academy in March 2004. She reached the first level in September 2005 and attained second level status by December 2006.
Educational requirements included 168 hours of course work at an IIMC institute, completion of an academy program, academic credits in a related field earned at an accredited college or university, and certifications obtained from another organization relevant to municipal clerk responsibilities.
"You go through three levels that take a minimum of four years to complete," Adams said last week. "It took me five, but that's OK."
Each step required community service, classes in clerk-related areas, and a new application filed at each level for admission to the next.
Sparks wrote the institute about the things Adams has been doing for Carthage over and above her regular work wearing three hats: town clerk, zoning administrator and deputy finance officer.
"Melissa Adams is responsible for organizing our annual Christmas parade, is the editor of our newsletter The Carthaginian, is the Web master for our town Web site," Sparks said in a letter to the IIMC. "She puts together 'Welcome to Carthage' brochures for new residents."
Adams completed the Moore County Leadership Institute, earned a FEMA certificate of achievement from the Department of Homeland Security for developing and managing volunteers. She also completed a number of annual city and county clerks' schools and other courses at the Institute of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Carthage Board of Commissioners applauded Adams' achievement at a recent meeting, congratulating and praising her for what she had accomplished. The town has long encouraged, supported, and paid much of the cost for continuing education for town employees in their respective fields.
Adams, stating her personal philosophy and beliefs about professional development as part of her MMC application, said that she is committed to pursuing additional training and education related to her work.
"I will constantly work toward advancing my knowledge, skills, and values," Adams said. "In other words, I am committed to the principle of lifelong learning so that I can be the best possible person I can be."
Contact John Chappell at 783-5841 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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