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June 2024

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Courtesy Photo: From left to right: Karen Shannon - Finance Director, Nadine Herrera - Utility Clerk, Dina Coleman - Chief Procurement Officer and Deputy Clerk, Renee Martinez - NM Clerk of the Year and Interim Administrator, Sarah White – Administrative Assistant, and Samantha Mascarenas, Receptionist.

Renee Martinez Awarded NM Municipal Clerk of the Year

Congratulations to Questa’s own Renee Martinez for receiving the New Mexico Municipal Clerk of the Year Award! She was recognized at a surprise luncheon in the Questa Village Council Chambers on April 15 that was attended by her family, council members, village staff, and a handful of community members. It was a festive occasion, with lots of photos and food provided by Mayor Mark Gallegos and El Monte Carlo Grill.

The award was officially announced by the New Mexico Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association and it will be presented at the New Mexico Municipal League Organization’s Annual Conference this fall.

“I am honored to receive this award and recognition. I could not have earned this without the love and support of my family, the dedication of my amazing staff, and my fellow Municipal Clerk family. This honor is a reflection of our hard-working Village of Questa team and our supportive Mayor and Council,” said Martinez.

“Questa is privileged to have someone of Renee’s caliber representing our village,” says Questa Mayor Mark Gallegos, “At the luncheon celebration, her mother, 87-year-old Esther Martinez, told me to stop making her work so hard, but that’s who Renee is—it’s what she does. We’re proud she’s being recognized as Clerk of the Year, and we’re proud of all the contributions she makes to our community and within the state.”

Renee was born and raised in Taos, and moved to Questa in 1998. When asked what she does when not working, Renee replied, “I enjoy spending time with family. I am the 11th of twelve children.” And what does she love most about Questa? “I love the people who have become friends and family… I love the community.”

Renee began her career at the Village of Questa in 2000 when she accepted a position working at the Youth Center. She continued to gain valuable experience during her 21-year tenure through subsequent roles at the Village. These include receptionist, clerking for the Motor Vehicle Department, utility billing and Deputy Clerk, heading up Human Resources, serving as Municipal Clerk, and she was also appointed Interim Village Administrator in 2012, 2017, and 2019. Currently, Renee is still Interim Administrator, while also performing her duties as Municipal Clerk.

“I love Questa and I am honored to have been able to serve this community in different capacities for the last 21 years,” said Martinez.

Renee was nominated by her colleagues and leadership at the Village of Questa. The final selection was made by the Executive Board of the New Mexico Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association; she was chosen from a field of 103 New Mexico municipal clerks. This is not her first award: Renee was awarded Court Clerk of the Year by the New Mexico Court Clerks Association in 2018.

The NMCFO Association nomination form explains, “The purpose of this award is to identify and recognize a member of the Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association who has made an enhancement to the clerk’s own community or municipal government, made a significant contribution to the objectives of the Municipal Clerks and Finance Officers Association in New Mexico, the advancement of the municipal clerks’ profession, and/or the promotion of municipal government in New Mexico.” Additional considerations for exceptional achievement also carried weight, including years of service as a municipal clerk and in local government, previous awards and accomplishments, and specific activities within the Association, among others.

Courtesy Photo: Mayor Mark Gallegos presenting Renee Martinez with her award for NM Clerk of the Year.