Inside Havana Town Hall sits a diminutive woman with a many duties-Havana’s Town Clerk, Shelia Evans. Evans began working for the town in 1998 as an administrative assistant to the town manager and has been the town clerk since 2007. Evans is the official record keeper and the official keeper of the town seal. In Havana the town owns all the utilities, so Evans tends to have a close relationship with its citizens, who stop to pay utility bills and have their power turned on.
What qualities would you suggest for anyone wishing to become a town clerk?
A good work ethic is a must, as are people skills. Education plays an important role, but experience is almost as important. I landed the job mostly because of experience. Once in the job education is still necessary, and one must attend conferences to keep up with what’s going on.
What do you like best about your job?
Dealing with the people. I like being able to help people and to make them able to understand the process required to solve their problems. I try to always be kind.
What do you think makes the biggest difference to citizens?
First of all I don’t make a difference by myself. I am part of a team that works well together trying to solve our citizens’ problems. Our town manager, Howard McKinnon, is our leader. My personal philosophy is an open door policy. I want to listen to anyone who needs help, but as I’ve said, I don’t work alone. Sometimes we don’t have the answer, but we always try to refer them to where they can get help.
How do you interact with other agencies including the police and the Fire Department?
That’s a good question. We interact with many many agencies (builders, businesses and more. It’s hard to include everything we do here.) As far as the fire department goes I do the reporting to the State Fire Marshall for them. The police department helps us out by accepting payments after hours on shut-off days to keep electricity on.
What would you wish for the citizens of Havana and/or the Town Hall?
I’d want our citizens to feel comfortable asking the town hall staff to help them solve their problems. I’d want them to know there is a team of people at the Havana Town Hall to help them in a non-judgmental fashion; people who will treat them the way they would want to be treated themselves.