When I was a wee youngster, my good schoolmate, Amberlie, and I used to go to her grandmother’s office after school. Betty Johnson served as the City Treasurer for several years, and she worked at City Hall. We spent hours roaming the halls, playing in the wide open space where CIEDA now lives, sitting through City Council meetings, and buying Chiclets from the gumball machine in the hallway.
It’s been many, many years since I’ve hung out in City Hall eating cheap chewing gum. But I had the pleasure of stopping in recently and chatting with Sarah Sharp, Claremore’s City Clerk. (I think the Chiclet machine is gone.)
Sarah is originally from Locust Grove. She fell in love with a Pryor boy named Brooks and they decided to split the difference and move to Claremore in 2005. Back in LG, Sarah always worked in municipal government; she served in public works, as a librarian, and city clerk. It’s in her blood, as her grandmother and aunt both served as City Clerk when she was a child, and her dad serves on the school board and also as a deacon.
A soft-spoken gal, Sarah said when she got to Claremore, she wanted to work in utilities; she wanted to blend into the background and do her job well. After one year, she decided it was time for a change, so she became a Code Enforcement Officer. In 2010, she took the position of City Clerk.
If you’re like me, you don’t know what the City Clerk does.
Just admit it.
Sarah is in charge of maintaining all city records and documents, and there are a lot of them. She acts as secretary to the City Council, so she handles all of the agendas and minutes from meetings. She ensures that all meetings abide by the Open Records Act and the Open Meeting Act, that everything is done above-board in a legal and official way. I’d guess she’s a “rules” girl, which is a great thing for Claremore.
The City Clerk is also responsible for maintaining all vehicle and property records; think about how many there are! Police cars, fire trucks, parks & rec trucks, those fancy power & light trucks with the buckets on top…that’s a lot of insurance verification forms to keep track of. Any new business permits and fireworks permits go through Sarah, too. (But not garage sale permits, that’s a different department!)
Sarah works closely with the City Manager and the City Attorney, and when elections come around for mayoral or council positions, she’s involved in that. Whew! That’s quite a lot of hats and details to handle. She is active on the Main Street Claremore board of directors, too, and loves working to revitalize downtown. Oh, and if that doesn’t keep her busy enough, Sarah has five children, including two sets of twins. Two. Sets. Of. Twins.
A couple of things that Sarah would like to pass on to the great citizens of Claremore:
There is a difference between the city and the county. A lot of times, folks are misinformed as to whose responsibility it is to take care of certain tasks. For example, the City of Claremore is not responsible for the state highways (20, 66 and 88) that run through town. Yes, there are potholes, and it is up to ODOT to repair them. The courthouse has nothing to do with the city, either. If you have a complaint and are unsure who to call, use your best judgment and that person will happily point you in the right direction. Because, as Sarah said, the city is here to help; the employees are good, hard-working people who serve the community.
If you want to be more informed about the issues in town, get involved! A lot of complaints that are heard floating around can be solved by just knowing the situation. The public is welcome to attend City Council meetings. Also, getting involved is a great way to get to know people.
Sarah loves working in the field of city government; she really enjoys helping and serving the community she now calls home. If you have questions about permits or meetings or documents or records or details or anything else related to the City Clerk position, feel free to contact Sarah at (918) 341-1325, Monday – Friday from 8a – 4:30p.
-MCM Staffer Ashley,
who oddly enough, wants some Chiclets now