On Monday, December 14, 2015, Milford City Council recognized Christine Crouch, Deputy City Clerk, for receiving Certified Municipal Clerk Certification through the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC). The IIMC is a professional, non-profit association that promotes continuing education and certification through university and college-based institutes.
“I am much more comfortable in the background helping make things happen so other people can be in the spotlight,” Ms. Crouch said. “I am very flattered by this recognition.” Ms. Crouch said that obtaining certification was challenging, but one she felt was necessary to become proficient in her position.
In order to obtain certification, Ms. Crouch was required to earn 50 points in experience as a full-time Deputy Clerk or an administrative assistant as well as 60 points in education. She said it took her 19 years to earn the work experience points for certification, working as both an administrative assistant and as the Deputy Clerk for Milford. She said education points are earned by attending IIMC regional and international conferences, participating in Athenian Dialogs, online courses, attendance at municipal clerk institutes and academies offered through the University of Delaware as well as volunteering on committees with the Delaware Municipal Clerks Association (DMCA).
“I began the process in October 2013 and applied for my CMC in early November 2015,” Ms. Crouch said. “Most people take three years to obtain their CMC, but I challenged myself to obtain mine in two years.”
Ms. Crouch began working at the City of Milford ten years ago as an administrative assistant in the Building and Code Enforcement Department. She transferred to the position of Assistant in the Planning Office and, for the past two years, has served as the Executive Assistant to the City Manager and Deputy City Clerk, working with City Clerk, Terri Hudson.
“Terri Hudson has been an amazing mentor throughout my career with the city,” Ms. Crouch said. “She was instrumental in ensuring I was able to attend training and provide me the opportunity to take on responsibilities in the Clerk’s office. I think I had been with the City for about a year before I was able to figure out her role with the City and we both determined I would be a good fit in the Clerk’s office. Between Terri, former City Manager, Richard Carmean, and myself, we began to lay the groundwork for me to learn what was necessary to move into the Clerk’s office.”
Ms. Crouch said that she began her career in one of the busiest offices in the city, working with Brad Dennehy, who is now Director of Parks and Recreation but was a building inspector at the time. She said that there was no one in the office to handle customers who came in needing assistance and she was hired to fulfill those duties. Once she felt comfortable in that role, she began assisting the Code Enforcement Office as well as the Inspector’s Office. Eventually, she moved into the Planning and Zoning Office until being appointed as Deputy City Clerk in 2013. Even after her appointment, she continued to provide support to the Planning and Zoning Department and maintained the city’s land management records.
Prior to working at the City, Ms. Crouch was employed at Kent-Sussex Industries in Milford as the Administrative Assistant to the Vice-President of Operations. It was there that her boss, Jayson, introduced her to his brother, Trent, who is now her husband. Between them, they have three children, Brandon Crouch, Morgan Vance and Dylan Crouch. Brandon is married, lives in Dover and has one child. Morgan is a senior at Milford High School and will be going to college in the fall while Dylan is a seventh grader at the Milford Central Academy.
“Trent and I were both raised in Milford so it was important to us that our kids were raised here as well,” Ms. Crouch said. “We not only have seen how Milford has grown over the years, but also have a vested interest in how the community continues to move forward in the years to come. Obtaining my CMC is not my resting point. The next stop is obtaining my Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) as Terri has done.” Ms. Crouch said that goal will take her some time and requires a great deal more experience as well as education. However, she says that she is always looking for a new challenge, so she is looking forward to starting that journey.