Members of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks (MAMC) recently elected Sterling Heights City Clerk Melanie Ryska as the 2020 City Clerk of the Year.
The announcement was made by MAMC Director, Ways & Means Chair, Clerk of the Year Committee Stephanie McMillen.
“Clerk Ryska’s contributions to the profession are exemplary, and her efforts have not gone unnoticed,” said McMillen. “The MAMC wants to thank her for her many years of service to her community and the Association.”
Ryska’s career in municipal government began in 2002 as election assistant for the city of Hamtramck. Since that time, she has served as city clerk for Hamtramck, deputy city clerk for Grosse Pointe Woods, assistant director of elections for Wayne County, and she was appointed Sterling Heights City Clerk in 2017. Throughout her career, Ryska has been a champion for clerks across the state of Michigan and often mentors new clerks and encourages association membership and education.
During her time as Sterling Heights City Clerk, Ryska has been instrumental in developing innovative changes to the office. In recent years, Ryska and her team have accomplished several significant projects including:
- Streamlining and automating the processing of more than 200 FOIA requests and more than 2,000 licenses annually.
- Implementing new election equipment in the six weeks preceding the November local election, including revamping all election material for 45 precincts.
- Streamlining precinct, AVCB, and receiving board procedures to promote efficiency and accuracy in election reporting.
- Working with various ethnic communities in Sterling Heights to recruit election inspectors and focusing on hiring bi-lingual workers to assist voters.
- Implementing OnBase Agenda Management system as the first phase to modernizing the City’s record keeping and beginning a plan to expand OnBase to serve as a citywide content management system.
- Innovating a new business licensing process.
- Working to promote the Census 2020 to ensure every resident of Sterling Heights is counted.
“The volume of work Melanie and her team produce is impressive, and the type of work they process affects very important decisions for residents,” said Sterling Heights City Manager Mark Vanderpool. “Melanie and her team perform their duties with integrity, grace and a positive attitude, working hard to innovate processes and stay up to speed on major changes to election laws, processes and technologies. Melanie inspires her team by example, resulting in her department earning the inaugural Department of the Year Award from the City, and it is no surprise to us that MAMC has chosen her to be awarded as the 2020 Clerk of the Year.”
Ryska currently serves on the MAMC Board of Directors as chair of education as well as vice president of the Macomb County Clerks Association and is a former president of the Association of Wayne County Clerks. She earned a psychology degree from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and is on track to complete her master’s degree by 2022.