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Career Public Servant Appointed Springfield City Clerk

Gladys Oyola-Lopez
Paul Tuthill
/
WAMC

    A key job opening in City Hall in Springfield, Massachusetts has been filled.

   Gladys Oyola-Lopez, the city’s longtime Election Commissioner, was appointed City Clerk by a unanimous vote Monday night of the City Council.  She will be the first Latina to hold the office, which is responsible for keeping vital records and public documents and issuing various licenses and permits.

    After interviewing three finalists for the position, Councilors voted to select Oyola-Lopez.

    "I want to thank all 13 City Councilors for taking the time to sit and talk with all of us," Oyola-Lopez said after the vote to appoint her.  "I look forward to meeting with each of you so I can speak one-on-one about my responsibilities and the work I intend to do."

    During her interview, Oyola-Lopez said becoming City Clerk would be a natural next step in her public service career, which has included 11 years as Election Commissioner, an assistant in the election office, and chief-of-staff to former State Rep. Cheryl Coakley-Rivera.

    "Serving the citizens of Springfield, serving the citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has become something that not only do I have a passion for but I believe I am very good at," Oyola-Lopez said.

    The appointment is for a six-year term.  Oyola-Lopez succeeds Tasheena Davis, who resigned as City Clerk on June 1st after 22 months in the job to return to the Law Department as an associate city solicitor.

    The other finalists were Rosa Jones, a supervisor of legal secretaries with Georgia State Board of Workers Compensation, and Christopher Lizotte, former director of veterans services in West Springfield.

    City Councilor Mike Fenton, who chaired the City Clerk Search Committee, said there was a lot of competition for the job.  

  He said he and fellow committee members City Councilor Victor Davila and City Councilor Melvin Edwards spent many hours reviewing the resumes of 72 applicants, and  gradually narrowing the field to the "very well credentialled and accomplished" finalists.

   Mayor Domenic Sarno nominated Oyola-Lopez and stated that if she was appointed City Clerk he would make her a member of his cabinet overseeing the Election Office and the 311 department.

    Some Councilors questioned the salary for the City Clerk that was posted in the job description at $92,270.  

   Councilor Trayce Whitfield said the two previous City Clerks were paid more than $100,000 annually.

   "I would be very displeased if these well-qualified individuals came in at a lesser salary than is normally paid," Whitfield said.

   Fenton said the salary for Oyola-Lopez will be determined in negotiations between her and Sarno.

    

  

    

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.
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