Mayor Jim Paine is recommending Camila Ramos, the city clerk technician, become Superior's next city clerk when Terri Kalan retires in September.
Ramos rose to the top of the list among 32 people who applied for the job, Paine said. Only two people were interviewed for the position.
“We interviewed two internal candidates because none of the other candidates had significant city clerk or elections experience,” Paine said. “We had 10 applications that had great administrative or educational background — people I would consider qualified to work in the clerk’s office — but overseeing elections, we really wanted someone with experience.”
The Superior City Council will consider the appointment at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 6, in the Government Center, Room 201.
Ramos joined the city clerk’s office as a temporary employee in January 2016 to fulfill some of the duties of a deputy city clerk who had taken a leave of absence. When the deputy clerk decided not to return to work, Ramos was hired permanently.
“Her organizational skills are out of this world, and her technology skills are such a huge asset,” Kalan said.
Around the time Ramos was hired, the state launched its online voter registration system, and Kalan said Ramos took the lead on managing it. The web-based system came online the same month Ramos was hired.
“No one really knew how to do that because it was new,” Ramos said. “And so I took it on, and I’ve owned that basically since I started here.”
Since then, Ramos has taken on election inspector training and other duties related to elections.
Councilor Ruth Ludwig said she first got involved in working elections when the city was facing a shortage of poll workers because of the pandemic last year.
“I think Camila was excellent,” Ludwig said. “She was always planning ahead and thinking of ways to improve.”
Ludwig said she worked at the registration table and a template Ramos created made her job easier by highlighting sections of the registration form that had to be filled out.
“I thought how ingenious because it made everything so easy to see,” Ludwig said. “I’m sure it cut down on errors.”
Paine said his decision to recommend Ramos for the job was pretty decisive.
“Not only has she been a source of frequent, constant innovation in that office, with a lot of great ideas to improve our systems, she’s already been improving our elections process within the clerk’s office … I largely credit her with the near-perfect 2020 fall election because of a few things she implemented to help eliminate errors in our process," he said.
Ramos also led efforts when elections changed from mostly in-person to absentee voting because of the pandemic in the spring of 2020.
“The real reason she stood out is she had a really solid and clear vision for voter outreach, to increase the efficiency of the office and to improve our elections system overall,” Paine said.
Ramos said she has many goals for the office, from replacing outdated practices to educating the public on the voter registration process.
“I want to focus more on election training, do mock elections … to tackle obstacles when they happen because they could happen to another election inspector in the future,” Ramos said.
She said she wants to take a more hands-on approach because it’s a better learning style for some people.
In addition to elections, the city clerk is responsible for council agendas, minutes and other public records; oversees municipal license issuance; manages the Board of Review process; administers oaths of office and orients newly elected officials; and manages the office and its budget.
Kalan said she hopes the council accepts the mayor’s recommendation because she believes Ramos has the necessary skills to manage the office, as well as elections, which have become increasingly complicated.
“I think she’s really going to do great, and I’m going to be really proud of her,” Kalan said. “She’s really going to bring the office up technology-wise.”