Sandy Norman receives clerk certification

Former Aragon City Clerk Sandy Norman holds up the proof of her completion of the courses provided by the Georgia Municipal Association to certify city clerks as to their competence and ability to perform their duties. She's the only city clerk in Aragon's history to complete the courses, though she no longer works at city hall. (Kevin Myrick/SJ)

  • Former Aragon City Clerk becomes first in city to be certified by GMC/FOA after resigning from position in 2017

In all the years Aragon has been a city, many clerks have come and gone. Yet it took a determined person who isn't on the job anymore to do what others haven't been able to achieve in the past: getting certified for the job.

Former Aragon City Clerk Sandy Norman is now working as an educator at Rockmart High School, getting back into the school district she left for her former job with the city.

When she began with the city, Norman also started taking classes to become certified with the Georgia Municipal Clerks and Financial Officers Association, or GMC/FOA. She was nearing completion of her work when she resigned last year from her job after she received what she still feels was an unfair evaluation from Mayor Garry Baldwin.

Since she was so close to completing her coursework to become a certified city clerk, Norman decided to keep up her studies and finish, and on her own dime.

"It was important to finish it and get it because I didn't want to feel like it was all a waste," she said.

During her time in the courses, Norman said what she learned most and feels is most important for local residents to ensure is that government remains transparent throughout all operations and found that aspect of the training "enlightening."

For now, Norman said that she is back with the Polk School District and getting to see those students growing up she taught prior to her departure in 2014 to work for the City of Aragon.

Her hopes is that one day she might be able to transfer those skills she learned into another position in local government.

"I would think it would open the door," she said. "But there isn't a whole lot of demands for city clerks out there."

After all, the positions usually don't have much turnaround, and those in service already in service like Carol Crawford in Cedartown or Pam Herring in Rockmart are likely to be around for the years to come.

Norman recently received her certificate to provide her with the credentials following the finish of her training.

It was good news for her former boss and now former Mayor Ken Suffridge as well.

He said that as far as he knew, no one else had ever achieved what Norman had.

"She's the only person in Aragon’s more than 100 year history to become a certified clerk, a process which I started and encouraged her to pursue when I was mayor," Suffridge said. "I'm happy to see her finish up the courses even though she was not a sitting city clerk anymore. It just shows she had the fortitude to finish what she started."

Baldwin even added his own comments of congratulation, saying that "I'm all for anyone bettering themselves."

Currently the city has no certified clerk working in the administration, and City Clerk Christie Langston said the process hasn't quite gotten underway yet.

"We have not started the process to get certified yet, but going 16 hours this fall," Langston said.

Additionally finance clerk Adrianna Barton doing finance and court clerk classes this fall as well.

Baldwin did say that city employees will be given opportunities to sign up for training classes when they become available.