Warren City Clerk Sonja Buffa was appointed to the position in January and has worked in the City Clerk’s Office since July 2000. She served as the top deputy under two former clerks. “I just intend to keep working. I like to be involved. I love to have the one-on-one conversations with my precinct workers, and working with people at the counter and answering the phone,” Buffa said.

Warren City Clerk Sonja Buffa was appointed to the position in January and has worked in the City Clerk’s Office since July 2000. She served as the top deputy under two former clerks. “I just intend to keep working. I like to be involved. I love to have the one-on-one conversations with my precinct workers, and working with people at the counter and answering the phone,” Buffa said.

Photo by Brian Louwers


Buffa: ‘I love being here for the people’

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published September 16, 2019

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WARREN — Sonja Buffa has worked for the city of Warren for more than 33 years now. She still has former Mayor Ronald Bonkowski’s letter from when she was hired in as a Community Development Block Grant aid at $3.35 an hour.

Buffa moved to the City Clerk’s Office on July 1, 2000, later became the office manager and eventually, Warren’s deputy clerk. She served under Rickard Sulaka and Paul Wojno before Wojno resigned to take a seat in the Michigan Senate this year.

Appointed to fill the position, Buffa originally said she had no intention of running for elected office. That changed in April when she officially jumped into the race to become Warren’s next elected city clerk.

“It just hit me. I thought, well, people are saying I should run. People are saying I would be doing a service to the city if I ran because I have so much experience,” Buffa said. “I asked my husband and we talked about it. I’m a spiritual person, so I prayed about it, and it was the right thing to do.”

Buffa began training Warren election workers back when the city was still using the unwieldy lever voting machines and then transitioned to the optical scan system in the early 2000s. She said she’s proud of the way the department functions on Election Day, and every day in terms of customer service.

“I take everything seriously. We have a great staff,” Buffa said. “My staff is trained well.”

As for the transition from city employee to elected official, she said she felt it was “time to make a decision.”

“It’s just so funny because everything I do is second nature. I’ve been doing it for so long,” Buffa said. “I’ve worked under two clerks. I just felt it was time. Being a clerk really wouldn’t be anything different from what I’m doing now, anyway.”

She said she hasn’t moved her office since she was appointed, and that she plans to continue doing what she’s been doing all along if elected to serve the next four-year term.

“I was a high school co-op, and who knew I’d be here 33 1/2 years later?” Buffa said. “I’m a passionate person to begin with. I take every job very seriously. Everything that’s given to me, I research it. I’m very proud of that.

“I just intend to keep working. I like to be involved. I love to have the one-on-one conversations with my precinct workers, and working with people at the counter and answering the phone. I just love it. I could never give it up. I love being here for the people. It’s very fulfilling,” Buffa said.

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