BURRILLVILLE – Town Clerk Louise Phaneuf has been named Master Municipal Clerk by the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, a title she earned through advanced continuing education courses aimed at preparing her to perform complex municipal duties.
“This achievement is a declaration that she is proficient in her position as town clerk and she has demonstrated a mastery of skills critical for good government,” noted a citation on the achievement, presented to her this week by the Town Council.
The MMC program is the more advanced of the two professional designations granted by IIMC, a professional, nonprofit association that promotes continuing education and certification through university and college-based institutes.
The program has an extensive and rigorous educational component and a professional contribution component.
Phaneuf, a clerk who started working for the town part time, then rose through the ranks, undoubtedly fits the bill.
Phaneuf has served as WellOne board member, and in the 2015-2016 year, was a volunteer for Junior Achievement of Rhode Island. She was part of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s task force to upgrade voting equipment and has served as the information chair person for the New England Association of City and Town Clerks.
This year, Phaneuf was among political and civic leaders who joined Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea for a discussion on the appropriation of $3 million in the elections-related Help America Vote Act. In April, she became a member of the Elections Assistance Commission Standards Board, a national group comprised of 110 state and local election leaders, representing each state and U.S. territory.
“Basically it’s a lot of hard work and dedication, to her job and her community. Both of which she demonstrates every day,” said Deputy Town Clerk Vicky Martin of Phaneuf’s latest achievement.
The room of town officials and members of the public stood up to honor the clerk at the meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 8.
“This is the way Vicky put it … very apropos,” said Town Council President John Pacheco. “We’d really like to thank Louise.”
“Because I’m not shy, I’m going to talk,” Phaneuf said following Pacheco’s presentation .
“It’s unachievable by yourself. I’ve got a great staff who’s always supported me and my being here – and not being here,” said Phaneuf.
“I’ve got a great manager and always have had,” she said of Town Manager Mike Wood. “Mike’s been manager longer than I’ve been clerk and he’s always supported everything I do.”
Wood told Phaneuf, “I could go on all night about how wonderful you are, but I’ll just say these words: you’re a trusted colleague and a friend. Thank you so much for your help.”
“If you notice, I always defer to her,” Pacheco added. “We’re lucky to have her.”