Upper Arlington's new clerk recently returned to the city with hopes of implementing new tools to archive and manage public records and a long-term eye on one day running a municipality.
Molly Hildebrand took over as Upper Arlington city clerk May 8, replacing former clerk Jenny Delgado, who resigned at the end of 2012.
Hildebrand's hire marked her return to the city, after previously serving as an intern in the Upper Arlington City Manager's Office while she was completing a master's degree in public administration at Ohio State University's John Glenn School of Public Affairs.
"I think this is a great opportunity to provide assistance to all parts of the city, to have a hand in ensuring the smooth operations of all parts of the city," Hildebrand said last week.
As city clerk, Hildebrand oversees two full-time employees and one part-time staff member. Her annual base salary is $45,000, and she receives another $5,843 in annual health, dental and life insurance benefits.
Her office serves as the legislative arm of the city's government by providing administrative support to Upper Arlington City Council, including scheduling and coordinating items which appear on council agendas.
Hildebrand and her staff also prepare city ordinances and maintain minutes and reports on council proposals and policies, handle public records requests and manage all city records, including archiving and storage.
Although she returned to the city less than a month ago, Hildebrand said she's working with Upper Arlington City Manager Ted Staton, City Attorney Jeanine Amid Hummer, Director of Finance and Administrative Services Cathe Armstrong and others to upgrade her office's records collection, storage and accessibility.
"We are looking at the future and thinking about streamlining some of the processes as far as minutes and note-taking," she said. "We're looking to use more computer- and technology-based (methods)."
Armstrong, who was part of a panel of city officials that reviewed and interviewed city clerk candidates before recommending finalists to council, said Hildebrand was selected from a pool of approximately 40 applicants.
"She was here as an intern while she was still going to the John Glenn School of Public Affairs," Armstrong said. "We were very impressed with her as an intern, and through the interview process, she really impressed us with her knowledge and maturity and eagerness.
"We're looking forward to working with her."
Hildebrand said she hopes to bring leadership and consistency to the clerk's office for the next few years.
But she's also made no secret of her aspirations to one day move up the chain of command in public administration.
"While I don't have a timeframe ... it's definitely my long-term goal to work as a city manager or assistant city manager," she said. "I have a lot of opportunities to grow as a manager in this position."