As custodian of the Village of Wellington’s vital public records, Village Clerk Chevelle Nubin leads a department that serves a key municipal function steeped in history.
“The profession of the clerk is the one of the oldest in history, second only to tax collectors,” Nubin explained. “It is one of the oldest public servants in local government, tracing back before biblical times. We are considered the hub. We tend to be that link between the residents of the community and the government.”
With more than 20 years of experience in the government sector, Nubin has been a municipal clerk for most of that time, joining the Village of Wellington two years ago. She is a master municipal clerk, which is the highest designation achievable for the position.
“I am also a member, and past president, of the Florida Association of City Clerks. So, I get to do outreach and represent our profession. I have served on the Florida League of Cities Municipal Administration Committee for the past three years and did some webinars for training. I enjoy it,” Nubin said.
After a long tenure with the City of Delray Beach, coming to Wellington was a significant transition for Nubin, but working with team members like Deputy Village Clerk Rachel Callovi made the change easier. Nubin referred to Callovi and her office as more than just a quality resource.
“What I love about Wellington, and what I saw quickly when I came here, was just the camaraderie. Wellington values its employees, and they are such a talented team and group of people to work with and work for,” Nubin said. “The atmosphere is amazing here — high energy and a demand for excellence. People deliver on that, and they give you the tools that you need to be successful.”
Some people see the clerk’s office as little more than secretarial work, answering phones, taking notes and keeping meeting minutes. Nubin makes sure that everyone knows that her team does so much more than attend council meetings.
“We serve as historians, responsible for transcribing minutes so that we can provide records to the public. The purpose for literally transcribing the minutes is to maintain an accurate, unbiased record of any legislative action that has taken place,” Nubin said. “We also do the legal advertising for the village, serve as supervisors over municipal elections and a huge part is records management.”
When records are created, the clerk’s team of eight people are responsible for following every step of its life cycle. From the initial filing, to the task of properly managing record destruction, the detailed process of having every document housed and scanned into digital form and catalogued is daunting. Digital access means the public, and the village, can save time and get back to work quickly.
“We have a team who do all the scanning of our records and archives on a daily basis. It’s a pretty interesting function. Adrienne Shaffer is the records manager, and she does an amazing job and works directly with the village departments about their records, too,” Nubin said.
The clerk’s office has managed to digitize more than half the historic records for the village, which is quite an accomplishment considering the size of the job.
Other members of the team include Assistant to the Village Clerk Tamika Rogers, senior administrative assistants Alice Machiela and Angie Butler, Administrative Assistant Shanti Singh and Transcriptionist Traci Mehl.
For Nubin, election time is a personal favorite function of the job. Meeting new people, from candidates to poll workers, directly connects her to the people she serves.
“Essentially, we serve as the local elections supervisors. For the village, your clerk is your contact. We also hire the poll workers, gather the elections information, receive the campaign treasurer’s reports, and even go on election night to wait for the results,” Nubin said. “I am responsible for canvassing our absentee ballots. During election day, I travel around to precincts to make sure everything is flowing properly and that our workers have what they need. I am responsible for making sure I order the ballots and have to make sure we have enough. It’s not a glamorous job, but it’s vital.”
Nubin, is also the official custodian of the village seal, and her team members are direct observers of all government business conducted in Wellington.
“No one day is the same, and although our work demands a level of versatility. We have to be alert, we have to be accurate and depending on what situation comes up — whether we are dealing with a resident or another colleague — it may require us to be extremely patient,” Nubin said.
This team mentality means everyone works together for residents of the community. Nubin shared a story of such a case.
“There was a lady who was extremely upset about the town center project. She had talked to a few people in a few departments, and finally the call came up to me. Upon me picking up the phone, I could tell she was upset. I let her get all of that out,” Nubin explained. “After I thanked her for calling, I continued listening, and in the midst of her comments, there was also a request for information she felt that she was not getting. Finally, after explaining her entire story, we were able to find the information — a survey her father had filed. She needed the survey before making important repairs to her home. That just made our day because, when we called her, she started to cry.”
Whenever possible, Nubin wants the answer to be “yes, we can,” not “no, we can’t.”
“We always look for a way to help while still being compliant with our charter, our code and the state. The mentality here is that we look for a way to get it done,” Nubin said. “We all have that same goal, and for us, that goal is to serve our residents.”