Staying Informed

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Fayetteville City Clerk Elected as President of ACCRTA


The City Clerk of Fayetteville, Arkansas, Sondra Smith, has been elected by Arkansas City Clerks, Recorders, and Treasurers as the President of the Arkansas City Clerks, Recorders, and Treasurer's Association (ACCRTA).The purpose of this organization is to improve the administration of local government, to promote the application of the best methods of conducting the affairs of the offices of City Clerks, Recorders and Treasurers and to promote continuing education. Smith began serving as Fayetteville City Clerk/Treasurer in 2003, and she has assisted in organizing the Arkansas Municipal Clerks Institute annual training, which has been held several times in Fayetteville.

As a regular part of her City Clerk duties, Smith frequently makes herself available to provide insight into the many roles of all city clerks at local, regional, and state meetings, including providing information about the role of city clerks to foreign dignitaries who visit the University of Arkansas, such as with the Spring International program. Her role as President of the Arkansas City Clerks, Recorders, and Treasurer's Association will further her current skills and interest in outreach and public education about municipal clerks, the role of city clerks, and governmental processes and procedures.

Sondra and her team in the Fayetteville City Clerk's Office process approximately 110 agendas and 35 minutes each year, and last year 332 passed ordinances and resolutions, 94 board and committee vacancies and 105 applicants were processed through the Clerk's office. 1462 meeting rooms were scheduled last year, 532,966 records were scanned, and four policy and procedure changes were made. Also 43 sections of the City Code of Ordinances were updated in-house in the Clerk's office. The Clerk's office receives numerous requests for records and document retrieval, and they do an excellent job getting the many records requests processed quickly and effectively.

Sondra's philosophy of transparent government makes her an essential part of the City of Fayetteville. She has a strong focus on and developed a records retention schedule and electronic archive of documents. During her tenure as City Clerk/Treasurer, Sondra and her team started maintaining a portion of the City's website, installed a document imaging system for electronic archiving of records, updates and maintains the City of Fayetteville Policy and Procedure manual, maintains the Code of Ordinances for the City, coordinates elections, and developed and implemented record retention policies and procedures in accordance with State law. Her office maintains historical research of our city. She has embraced social media to communicate with the public. She has participated in our successful efforts of live broadcasts of meetings on the Fayetteville Government Channel, live web streaming of meetings on the Granicus system through the City's website and in archiving these meetings for efficient retrieval in digital format to assure complete accuracy of both the procedures, the commentary from the public, and positions taken by the Mayor and City Council.

In addition, Sondra and her team have gone beyond the call of duty to make information available to the public. Every week they post advance copies of the agenda for the City Council Agenda Sessions and the twice-monthly meetings of the City Council. These are distributed both by e-mail to the press and the public and are posted on the City's website, as well as video message boards in City Hall. Furthermore, these advance agendas include not only the items to be discussed at Council meetings, but also the complete files and documentation supporting each agenda item, assuring that our citizens have full access to the complete documentation for each item provided to the City Council for their review and decision-making. If anyone wishes to review a previous meeting of the Council, there are not only City Clerk minutes, but the City of Fayetteville has an active on-demand service in which the Clerk's agendas are "live", in that online review of any item on a City Council agenda will automatically pull-up the point in the video of the meeting in which that specific item is being discussed by the City Council.

Smith is a Certified Arkansas Municipal Clerk and is a Certified Municipal Clerk though the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. She has many skills and roles that will not only advance the City of Fayetteville in this position, she will be able to provide added value to the State of Arkansas through this important role of President of the Arkansas City Clerks, Recorders, and Treasurer's Association.