2005-12-22 / News

Petit named Town Clerk of the Year

Town Clerk Arlene Petit Town Clerk Arlene Petit Town Clerk Arlene Petit was honored last month by the Rhode Island Society of Professional Land Surveyors as the Town Clerk of the Year.

It was the organization’s second annual award for excellence in organizing, maintaining, and providing access to public land records.

Petit in turn emphasized the importance of of her staff’s work for enabling her office to be evaluated so highly. “We all know it takes a team effort to accomplish this type of recognition,” the town clerk said.

David Hilbern, president of the society, said the award was established last year to emphasize the importance of being able to have access to plans and deeds so the surveyors may properly conduct their business.

“Town clerks work very hard to make this information accessible. Arlene Petit of Jamestown exemplifies the ideal town clerk,” he said. “All (Jamestown) deed books and plans are filed in an orderly fashion making it quicker to find them. She maintains a street cross-index that makes it easier, especially for the average resident, to find recorded plans by looking up the street on which the property abuts.”

As set up by Petit, the organization of Jamestown town records makes it “no longer necessary to run a chain of title on everyone on the block to find a survey plan,” Hilbern said. The society of surveyors also cited Petit because “plans also are legible and easy to read. Some towns reduce plans to the point where they are impossible to read,” Hilbern pointed out.

“What this means to average citizens is that they pay less for surveys. It also means that records are open and readily accessible to both citizen and professional researches,” Hilbern explained. “Time and money spent now on the clerk’s office means increased savings in the future,” he added. Petit and her staff “are very deserving” of the recognition of the award, he said. “The residents of Jamestown are all lucky to have Arlene at the helm,” Hilbern added.

Petit passed along the honors of the citation by commending the Town Hall staff for “outstanding efforts in providing up-to-date information and excellent personal service to our customers.”

She noted that she was sharing the appreciation the award and the appreciation with Fred Brown, the town’s building and zoning official, Zoning Clerk Patricia Westall, Tax Assessor Kenneth Gray, Deputy Town Clerk Kimberly Turcone, Canvassing Clerk Karen Montoya, and Crista Aberle, assistant probate clerk.

“Each of these individuals contributes to the smooth operation of business conducted at Town Hall,” Petit said.

After learning of the award earlier this month, the Town Council, added its commendations for the work of Petit, who also serves as the council’s recording clerk and general secretary. They ordered a citation from the council to be drafted for presentation to Petit. The councilors also took special note of the humility with which Petit accepted the honor and shared it with her staff.

Return to top