Phenix City Council appoints new clerk

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By Blenda Copeland

There’s a different voice and face emanating now from the Phenix City Clerk’s chair.

As of the Jan. 3 city council meeting, Melony Lee has been appointed to the position.

The Phenix City Council approved the appointment after citing former City Clerk Charlotte Goodrich’s letter from Dec. 12 saying it served as notice of her intent to file for disability retirement effective Feb. 1. Part of the letter referenced that her health was at a point that she can’t return to work.

Goodrich was suddenly absent and silent from the job for weeks, with many in town speculating as to why, despite word that it was health-related. Her absence began immediately before the city’s District 2 special election Nov. 14, which left the city to appoint Lee as acting city clerk in the meantime.

Goodrich worked for the City of Phenix City for a little more than 13 years, the last nine of which were through an appointment as city clerk.

On Jan. 3, Councilman Arthur Day motioned to approve the resolution to remove Goodrich as city clerk; Councilman Griff Gordy seconded it. Councilman Steve Bailey motioned to approve the resolution to appoint Lee as the new city clerk; Gordy seconded it.

Regarding her appointment, Lee said it was bittersweet. “I enjoyed working with Charlotte,” she said of her predecessor.

Lee has worked the past nine years as Goodrich’s second in command, as office manager for the city manager and the city clerk’s office. She served previously as acting city clerk for a month in November 2008 when Goodrich was appointed as city clerk.

Overall, Lee has worked for the city since June of 1993 – 25 years this coming June.

“I was hired to work in the city clerk’s office,” Lee said of her early years with the city. There were three or four employees in that department at the time, she recalled. At that time, she helped process business licenses and helped in the office where needed. She has helped with clerk-type duties in various areas, including economic development, Human Resources and finance.

“Most of my years have been in the clerk’s office,” Lee said.

Married with two adult sons, Lee is from the Phenix City and Smiths Station area.

Though she is changing titles to the city’s top clerical position, many of the duties are ones she is already familiar with. However, she added she’ll be looking for more support from her co-workers in the office as she takes on more responsibility in her new role.

“The Clerk’s Office is the heartbeat of the city,” Lee said. She said she strives to do her best and that she couldn’t do it without the support of City Manager Wallace Hunter and her co-workers and all the city’s department heads.

“That just makes my job easier,” she said.

She also said she appreciated everyone with the city and all they’ve done to help her.

Anyone with need of assistance from the Phenix City Clerk’s Office may reach the department’s main line by calling (334) 448-2720. City departments are also available online through the city’s Web site: www.phenixcityal.us.