Birmingham names West Bloomfield staffer new clerk

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published December 20, 2019


BIRMINGHAM — Just in time to kick off a vigorous presidential election year, the city of Birmingham has named a new city clerk.

James Allen, the current senior election administrator for West Bloomfield Township, was  officially appointed to his new position by the Birmingham City Commission during its regular meeting Dec. 16.

The recommendation was made to the commission by a subcommittee formed for the task of finding a new city clerk to replace former Clerk Cherilynn Mynsberge, who resigned in mid September to return to school and pursue a different career path.

“Following an extensive recruitment and selection process, the city of Birmingham is very pleased to appoint Allen as city clerk,” City Manager Joe Valentine said in a prepared statement. “His impressive skill set and strong background in elections make him an excellent candidate for this position.”

Allen earned a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in public management from Eastern Michigan University. He has worked in the clerk’s offices of Ypsilanti, Farmington Hills and West Bloomfield.

He’s overseen more than 20 elections, including presidential, gubernatorial, residential primary, state primary and more.

“I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter in my career. I have a great deal of interest in working elections, and this was the next step forward,” Allen said.

He explained that in addition to record keeping, licensing and other responsibilities of a clerk, he’s particularly passionate about the duty of administering elections.

“It’s something that I take a lot of pride in doing,” he said. “I discovered it by accident, like a lot of interests, and I knew it was something that was very technical and very sophisticated.”

Allen will begin his new role Jan. 2. Since Mynsberge’s departure, Deputy Clerk Cheryl Arft has served as acting clerk.

“I look forward to serving the city and its residents to the best of my ability,” Allen added.