Providence City Council Elects Shawn Selleck as City Clerk

(L to R) Katia Lugo, Sheri Petronio, Tina Mastroianni, Deputy Majority Leader Mary Kay Harris, Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan, Council President Sabina Matos, City Clerk Shawn Selleck, Antonieta Falconi, Councilwoman Helen Anthony, and Council President Pro Tempore Michael J. Correia

Selleck, a Resident of the West End of Providence,
W
as Elected to Serve a Four-Year Term

At tonight’s City Council meeting,  Shawn Selleck of Providence was elected to serve as Providence’s City Clerk for the 2019-2022 term.

Selleck previously worked for the Clerk’s Department, as he served there as the open government and civic innovation consultant from 2013 until 2014. During his tenure, he was instrumental in launching the City’s first Open Meetings Portal, and he worked with the City Council to purchase laptop computers so that the legislative body could go as “paperless” as possible. He also implemented a paperless pre-procurement process which resulted in the elimination of thousands of pages of documentation monthly, by utilizing digital approval and workflow technology. Currently, he serves as a project manager in the Department of Information Technology for the State of Rhode Island.

“First and foremost, Lori Hagen has been a tremendous leader and has been an astounding civil servant, and I cannot thank her enough for all the work she has done to keep Providence moving forward. During her tenure she has digitized thousands of documents, provided access to thousands of meetings and other important historical information on the Open Meetings Portal,” stated City Council President Sabina Matos. “As we started this new term, I have been thinking about the future of the City Council, and all its departments, and what that looks like in 2022 when several of us step off the Council and several long-time employees will likely retire.  I want to ensure that our incoming Councilors and employees have a steady foundation to build upon, and there is not a ’brain-drain’ of important institutional knowledge.  The vision that Shawn expressed to me to transform the Clerk’s Department to become more technologically focused resonated with me and my vision for the future of the departments that the Council oversees.”

The Department of the City Clerk is the official repository for all ordinances, resolutions and official documents related to the government of the City of Providence. The Clerk also is responsible for the authenticity of all legal documents and oversees the Providence City Archives. The Archives houses an extensive collection of manuscripts, printed material, maps, blueprints, and images that span the period from the Colony’s founding in 1636 to the present.

“I’m honored to be elected by the City Council to serve in this important role,” stated newly elected City Clerk Shawn Selleck. “Six years ago, I had the pleasure of working on behalf of the Providence City Council, the Office of the City Clerk and the Office of the Mayor to act on recommendations of the Open Providence Commission for Transparency and Accountability. By leading a modernization effort that included accomplishments with a wide range of complexity, from the simple replacement of cassette tape recorders with digital recording devices to the more challenging implementation of the City’s first Open Meetings Portal, our residents were provided better access to the records of City Hall. I am grateful for this new opportunity to continue that progress, serve the Council and my fellow residents and work with the staff in the Department of the City Clerk.”

Majority Leader Ryan stated, “I am proud of my colleagues on the Council. While change is difficult, it is important that the Clerk’s office keep abreast of state-of-the-art technology to increase transparency and public participation. Mr. Selleck brings a host of technology skills that will enhance the Clerk’s office operations and the Council’s goals for a more open government.” Leader Ryan continued, “The City Clerk’s office by City Charter is the keeper of the City’s Records and Archives. This office needs to communicate with legislators and residents regularly and inform the public of ongoing City-wide business all with the goal of encouraging robust public participation.  I thank Ms. Hagen for her exemplary professionalism and her years of service to the City and wish her well.”

Lori Hagen has served the City of Providence for nearly 30 years and has been the City Clerk for the last two terms.  Senior Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas J. Narducci Jr. said, “It has been a pleasure to work with Lori for all these years. She has been a consummate professional, and I wish her well in all her future endeavors. I along with my colleagues welcome Shawn, and remind him that he has very big shoes to fill.”

“Shawn will be stepping into a very big role, and we have big plans for him and the future of the Clerk’s Department,” stated City Council President Pro Tempore Michael J. Correia. “I am looking forward to working with him to make the Clerk’s office more engaging and continue serving the people of Providence with a focus on customer service and accessibility.  Everyone on this Council and in this office wishes Lori the best as she moves on from this role, and we thank her for her 30-years of service.”

Shawn Selleck lives in the West End neighborhood of Providence with his wife, Antonieta. He begins serving as City Clerk immediately.

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