GREENBURGH, N.Y. Judith Beville is Greenburgh's town clerk. Reelected for another term last November, Beville said that she and her colleagues are the faces of town hall, and that they strive to help the town make a good impression.
"We are the front-line public relations and customer service office," said Beville. "We are the first point of contact to our residents."
The town clerk's office is Greenburgh's main record keeper and registrar of vital statistics. It oversees elections, makes tentative board agendas, researches public hearings, coordinates map printing, and updates computerized street listings.
The Daily Greenburgh: What kind of tasks do you perform regularly that residents might not think that you are responsible for?
Judith Beville: Roughly 95 percent of the duties and responsibilities of the town clerk's office are mandated. I oversee this office, and also the cable department. Those are the two areas where the majority of my focus is on making sure that operations and tasks are performed efficiently and effectively and with accountability. We are accountable to the public. For example, a major area of responsibility for us are FOIL requests. I have instituted a system that [streamlines the process] and holds the department heads accountable. I put that in place so that it doesn't drag on without notification.
TDG: What were some highlights of 2011?
JB: Since Jan. 1, 2011, I took over dog licensing for the whole town at no additional cost, saving the villages money. There are more mailing costs, but it brings in more licensing fees. And beginning on Jan. 12, 2012, dog owners who want to renew their licenses can now do it online. As of September 2011, town board meetings were made available online.
TDG: What are some events, projections or changes taking place in 2012?
JB: I am formalizing a feedback system for residents who came into the town clerk's office for service. I want to know what changes can be made. Also, there is the "Tribute to the Elders" and the "Women's History Month Celebration." I reach out to the mayors in the villages and ask for recommendations of women from their communities who they feel should be acknowledged for helping to improve the quality of life in their immediate communities. It is a town-wide event of honoring women.
TDG: What is the hardest part about being town clerk?
JB: The most challenging part of my job is just making sure that things are done in a timely manner, and that the concerns of residents' needs are addressed. I suppose that one of the most challenging parts of my job is keeping a clear desk! But I really enjoy what I do. As a reelected official, we are going to be confronted with challenges every day.
TDG: If you could change something about town government, what would it be?
JB: We really want to attract business. We really want to make sure that businesses don't find it impossible to do business in the town. We are examining for the possibility of creating more revenues and reducing expenses, saying taxpayers money where we can.
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