Niagara Gazette

April 17, 2014

Garfinkel hopes to continue on as Lewiston town clerk

Staff Reports
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — Donna Garfinkel has the experience to continue on as Lewiston town clerk.

Before being chosen as the successor to former clerk Carol Brandon, who retired from service at the end of 2013, Garfinkel spent the past 23 years as a deputy town clerk under both Brandon and Lilly Taddeo. 

She said the work helped her learn and develop an understanding of what residents need and want, which she believes to be the reason for the office’s existence.

“Since being granted the opportunity to be town clerk, I have accomplished a great deal, and I do not intend to slow down,” she said. “The clerk’s office will continue to move forward with the many things needed to be done on behalf of the town board and our residents.”

Things, she said, like coordinating census counts, issuing E-ZPass tags, attending training programs to increase productivity and provide new services and develop and maintain the town’s website, which was updated in 2013 to provide “easy to navigate and ample information to assist residents with what they need from the different departments.”

Garfinkel, a Republican, said one of the more pressing objectives facing the office is reviewing and updating records being kept at town hall. As chief operator of the building, she said making sure the information is up-to-date is vital to performance.

It became obvious updating was needed, she said, after attending a state disaster planning and response seminar for town vital records.

“It became apparent that our current record keeping setup was less than optimal,” she said. “I am working very hard with other members of the town hall staff to overhaul our system and create the additional storage space required for our constantly growing collection of records.”

She’s also worked to sponsor a town meet and greet event, which provides residents with a face-to-face opportunity with town employees, helped mold changes to the town’s Hawking, Peddling and Soliciting law and assisted in creating a sign at the Dickersonville Cemetery, installed prior to the grounds’ 160th anniversary celebration.

The registered municipal clerk said her experiences, though plentiful, are only going to push her to continue to assist residents as best as possible.

“As I hope that it has been evident, thus far in my time as town clerk, it is important to me to continue to move forward in this positive direction with the department,” she said. “I intend to continue putting residents first, utilizing my lengthy experience on the job and my passion for making sure residents get their questions answered. I have an open-door policy, an honest work ethic, and am dedicated to ensuring that the Town Clerks Office serves our residents with absolute integrity.”