Roseville selects new city clerk

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 4, 2020




ROSEVILLE — At its regular meeting Nov. 24, the Roseville City Council unanimously selected Jennifer Zelmanski to step in as Roseville City Clerk beginning Jan. 1.

Zelmanski currently serves as the city’s deputy city clerk. The current city clerk, Richard Steenland, is stepping down Dec. 31 to take up his newly elected role as 22nd District Representative in the Michigan State House.

“I’m humbled and thrilled that they put their trust in me,” Steenland remarked. “I’ve been lucky for many years and I look forward to representing the citizens of Roseville and Warren to the best of my ability.”

Zelmanski will serve as clerk during the last year of Steenland’s term. She will then have to run in the November 2021 general election to retain the position. She would have had to run to retain the position next year even if it was not supposed to be the final year of Steenland’s current term.

“I’m thankful to the mayor and City Council for giving me a wonderful opportunity,” she said. “I am very excited to be working for the people now. I will need to be reelected into the position for a four-year term in November; that was when Rich’s term would be ending if he were staying here.”

Steenland was elected in 2007 as clerk. Prior to that, he had served on the Roseville City Council since 1993. He recommended Zelmanski to be his successor, and the two have worked together for several years.

“Jennifer started off as my part-time election aide many moons ago in 2007 and became deputy city clerk soon after,” he explained. “She has done a superb job and knows the election process better than anyone. She takes a lot of pride in her work, and we have put together a process in the Clerk’s Office of accountability and accuracy so that everything is properly balanced. If you contact the Macomb County election office, they will tell you we’re one of the best election offices in the county, if not the state, and Jennifer has taken the reins of that process.”

Zelmanski said she is excited about being the clerk and she feels prepared for it.

“I am super excited, but there are some big shoes to be filled,” she said. “There’s not too many additional responsibilities. I’ll be helping out residents more and attending more City Council meetings and so forth. It’s pretty much more of what I have been doing, only more so, and doing so in an administrative capacity.”

She said she doesn’t anticipate any major changes in how the department will be run compared to Steenland’s tenure.

“We have been achieving all of our goals, so I won’t be setting too many changes,” said Zelmanski. “The department is where I want it to be. We have a great staff who has been doing a phenomenal job.”

Steenland said most of the changes in the department he performed in the last few years have happened with Zelmanski’s input, so she has already done a good job of shaping the Clerk’s Office.

“When I came in here, we made a lot of changes to the office,” Steenland said. “I am very proud that over the years, that even though we lost positions, we were still able to maintain the level of service we had to the community. I don’t think anyone noticed that we lost two full-time people in that time. We streamlined the business license and FOIA processes. I feel proud of leaving this office in the state it’s in.”

Steenland said he wishes Zelmanski the best of luck and hopes they can continue to work together in some capacity as he begins his work in Lansing.

“I am looking forward to hopefully taking my many years on the local level and working at the circuit court and translating that into something that benefits residents at the state level,” he said. “I want to move forward to address the many challenges at all levels of government, particularly with the pandemic. I want to find creative ways to work through the budgetary challenges we’ll be facing.”