There were no precincts, no secret ballots and no “I Voted” stickers when the Sterling Heights City Council agreed to make Mark Carufel the new city clerk. But that didn’t make the results any less official.
At the recommendation of City Manager Mark Vanderpool, the council voted unanimously to confirm Carufel as the clerk at a Feb. 19 council meeting.
This means Carufel, who had already been serving as interim city clerk, will oversee Sterling Heights’ election process and its 45 precincts.
Carufel recently told the Sentry that he enjoys the variety and challenge of his job, and he wants to provide excellent services to the public. He also looks forward to tackling new projects with his fellow staffers at City Hall.
“I have great coworkers here,” he said. “I’ve worked in the private sector in the past, and I believe we have extra-dedicated, capable employees.”
Carufel, 55, has been a Sterling Heights resident for more than two decades. After a stint working in the insurance industry, Carufel started working for the city in 1991.
His first job was being a risk-management analyst, and he was promoted to risk manager in 1994. In 2009, he also took on the role of purchasing manager. Even as city clerk, he will continue to be the risk manager, he said.
In addition, Carufel said he has about 10 years of experience as a field election official.
“One of the duties of city clerks is to (manage) elections,” he said. “I have a familiarity with that process. I worked closely with the city clerk and city administration over the years.”
In the months ahead, Carufel expects to implement new election rules. One of those rules, he said, will change voting paperwork to confirm that the voter is a U.S. citizen.
Another change will equip precincts with laptops and license scanning software that will verify licenses with a database of qualified voters.
“This will lead to a more efficient election administration process and should also speed up the process for the voter to … receive a ballot,” he said in an email.
Sterling Heights spokesman Steve Guitar confirmed Carufel’s knowledge about precincts and the polls.
“Mark has been a fixture around here for several years,” he said. “He filled up a backup role to the city clerk during the council meetings when the clerk wasn’t available.
“He is very competent and very comfortable and knowledgeable about the election process. So it should be a seamless transition.”
In January, Sterling Heights’ previous clerk, Walter Blessed, switched jobs and became Sterling Heights’ interim human resources director, Guitar said.
Learn more about Sterling Heights at www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.