City clerk clocks out early for retirement

  • Amy Daybert<br>Enterprise writer
  • Monday, March 3, 2008 6:48am

Although few people can say they’ve only missed 20 city council meetings in the last decade, Sharon Mattioli sure can.

Today, Mattioli retires as Shoreline’s first official city clerk, taking with her memories of the early years of Shoreline’s incorporation as a city, an abundance of knowledge that sprouted from holding a number of job responsibilities throughout her 10 years on the job, and her cheerful personality.

“My job has a lot of facets to it, which is a reason why I enjoyed being the city clerk,” she said. “You get your fingers in a lot of different pies – you’re not an expert on too much but you know about an awful lot of things.”

As the city clerk, every Monday evening Mattioli served as the parliamentarian during council meetings, closely making sure that business was conducted according to parliamentary procedure, that all ordinances and resolutions were signed and all business was legally conducted according to state statute.

Drawing upon her prior 10 years of experience as the deputy city clerk in Bellevue, Mattioli was able to organize a system for maintaining records and keeping archives for the city.

“I had the opportunity to set up a lot of new procedures and processes that we still use today,” she said.

Mattioli also supervised the public disclosure process, mail, business and pet licensing, television channel contract and worked with high school interns. She served as the clerk of the library board simply because she loves libraries and working with people.

People have depended on her historical memory in the past 10 years.

“That has been a part of my role, reminding people where we came from as new people come in and sometimes can’t understand what came before,” she said.

What came before, during the first few years after Shoreline’s incorporation, is what Mattioli labeled as “interesting.”

She recalled a charter election that if successful, would have required that the laws of Shoreline be written from scratch and not taken directly from codes in the state’s statute and three separate annexation elections.

“We had a lot more from a clerk’s perspective going on in the early years,” she said. “Now we’re sort of staying the course in a lot of things that we put into place when we first started.

“It’s very rare that you get that kind of opportunity and that you stay around long enough to see that it’s working, so that has been a real pleasure for me.”

Mattioli will remember the times that visions such as the Aurora Corridor Project were given the go-ahead to become a reality and the times proclamations were issued to honor accomplished members of the community. One of her favorite proclamations was recently issued to the Shorewood Jazz Band after they received an honorable mention at the Essentially Ellington jazz festival and competition in New York.

“The whole band came and four members actually played,” she recalled. “It was a very nice way to set the tone for an upbeat meeting.”

Mattioli remembers a time three years ago when she left on a vacation and forgot to give her staff a special meeting notice for the council retreat. The fact that the retreat was not discussed left some citizens upset.

“I had to say on television that I was the one who made the mistake and if they wanted to get upset with me, they could but it was just a pure mistake,” she said.

Mattioli said she has learned a lot about people, and most everyone has a good motive for their actions.

“I’ve learned to respect peoples’ intent,” Mattioli said. “In doing that, I’ve become friends with people who are angry with what the city is doing.”

Mattioli believes that Shoreline is “on the cusp of some big changes that will give it more character,” and is impressed with the quality of city employees, citizens and organizations. She said deputy clerk Scott Passey’s appointment as the new city clerk is validation that people are happy with the work that has been done.

Her colleagues describe her as a compassionate, smart, understanding person and a reliable boss.

“She’s just a warm fuzzy,” said her administrative assistant, Heidi Webb.

“I’ve learned tons from her. She’s very supportive of her employees and is a good role model for all of us,” said Carol Shenk, records and information manager.

Mattioli’s efforts have been recognized outside of her office too. She was honored by the city as the 2004 employee of the year and was the recipient of the newly-created clerk of the year award.

“It was an honor that people in the city wanted to put that energy into making me clerk of the year,” she said. “This is a very good time to leave, when you receive recognition saying you’ve done a great job.”

While she is proud of her professional accomplishments, Mattioli is all smiles when asked about her 6-month-old grandson and is looking forward to being able to spend more time with her family.

She and her husband, who also retires today from being a school counselor in the Kent School District, will celebrate their retirement by staying in a five-bedroom villa in Tuscany, Italy. They plan to have friends and family visit them during the course of their stay. The couple has also planned a trip to Morocco in February 2006.

“I’m hoping to take one overseas trip per year in my retirement,” Mattioli said.

She is also looking forward to moving from Auburn to Port Townsend where she will be active in politics if an issue comes along that she feels strongly about.

“At this point, I don’t plan to get involved in anything besides remodeling my house, playing with my grandson and going boating with my husband,” she said.

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