Mark this down as a piece of City of Miami Gardens trivia: Who was the first official employee of the City upon incorporation in 2003? Answer: Ronetta Taylor who holds the title City Clerk. This month Taylor is being recognized for reaching her ten year milestone serving in the capacity. What exactly does the City Clerk do? According to Taylor, a little bit of everything.
“I’m kind of like a miniature Secretary of State. I hold a chartered position and have statutory responsibilities, as well as responsibilities outlined in the City’s Charter. ” Yes, but what does that mean in real-people talk? “I am the record-keeper, which means every day public records request are received.
I am the city council agenda coordinator , transcribe and keep the minutes of meetings, attest the signature of the Mayor or City Manager on all contracts, as authorized by the City Council; attest the signature of the Mayor on ordinances and resolutions, which are adopted by the Council; I am responsible for the advertisement of all public notices; Special Master Hearings relating to Code Cases, False Alarms and Red Light Camera Hearings, where my Office acts similar to the Clerk of Courts”. Record Code Enforcement Liens and Record Release of Liens. My office handles US Passports and I am also the Supervisor of Elections for our municipality. I work with other Governmental entities to share information and ideas. Basically I have a lot to do.”
A life-long resident of Miami Gardens, Taylor grew up in the area. She attended Miami Jackson High School and graduated from Barry University with a degree in Public Administration. Taylor holds the distinction of being the first African-American City Clerk in Miami Dade to have earned the Master Municipal Clerk designation in 2008. She was number 53 out of more than 500 City Clerks throughout the State of Florida to receive this distinguished recognition. Taylor smiles when asked about why she loves her City and her work.
“I like people and I like providing a service to the residents. I want to instill a sense of trust so our residents feel comfortable when they call or visit City Hall to ask about whatever they need,” explains Taylor.
“ I try to treat other residents the way I want to be treated. I feel I have a special stake in the City and that means that when people see me; when I go to the grocery store they know me. If I’m out someplace, they recognize me. I want to be a good representative of the City.”
A Mother of three and Grandmother of four, Taylor spends as much time as possible with her family. When she does create downtime, she says you’ll find her curled up with a good book; most likely a James Patterson novel featuring the Alex Cross character. “In fact, I just downloaded a new one to my iPad,” she explains during our interview.
Taylor is devoted to her role as City Clerk. Her vision for the future of Miami Gardens? “I would like to see a vibrant downtown area. A place where I can go for outdoor dining, see a movie or a show right here. I don’t like to go outside of my city for anything; I try to do all my shopping right here in Miami Gardens.”
Does Taylor see herself as a role model for others? Yes. “I love to mentor. I’m always giving advice to anyone who will listen. My advice to young women…Decide what you want to do in life. Map your plan and work your plan.”
Taylor says her next plan will be reach retirement and enjoy life even more than she already does. “I want to travel. I want to see the world. I’m learning to enjoy more pastimes.”