Gluckstadt’s first city employee started her new job on Oct. 4 with goals of transparency and engagement with the newly incorporated city’s citizens.
Lindsay Kellum is Gluckstadt’s city clerk. Kellum and her husband, Ethan, and daughter, Addison, live in the area and her daughter attends Germantown Middle School. She comes from serving 12 years in Mississippi’s state government where she began her career working on elections and spent the last six years on Mississippi’s Ethics Commission. With a political science degree from Florida State University and a background in public administration and government, she said her experience aligned with the job posting she saw for the city clerk.
“I never thought that I would leave state service and take the leap to move into municipal government,” Kellum said. “But I’d been following the incorporation process and saw how excited the citizens are. This is a big deal, and we have the opportunity to do it right. I’m excited to get to work and rise to the challenge.”
Kellum said Gluckstadt has a unique opportunity to build a city and government from scratch. She said most cities are well established and have policies already in place but Gluckstadt does not, which presents some challenges but mostly the opportunity to build it right.
“Just because it has been done one way for a long time does not mean it is the best way,” Kellum said. “I’m trying to caution the board not to rush everything. I know everybody is really excited to get this up and going, but we want to do this right. We have a unique opportunity to really put systems in place that will help serve our local citizens.”
Two of Kellum’s main goals are to be a transparent government and to have an engaged community. One way she plans on achieving this is through technology.
“We could use technology and our website to make sure we are conveying information and adding things to the website to promote transparency,” Kellum said. “Obviously coming from Ethics, that is a very important goal to me.”
She said one thing she is looking at to utilize technology is a texting option. It would be used to convey information to the citizens that sign up such as special meetings, public hearing reminders, day-to-day things to know or in case of emergency situations. Additionally, she wants to make sure that the website, once up and running, will be a source of plenty of information for citizens, including posting minutes and files so citizens don’t have to always file public record requests.
“I think that it is very important to engage our community and our citizens to have them get involved in the local legislative process,” Kellum said. “Then citizens can really see and be a part of the process.”
Not only will this texting option and informative website help the city be transparent, but it will increase community engagement and involvement.
“I want the citizens to be engaged,” Kellum said. “I want citizens to feel like they can come in and sit down in my chair and we can chat and have coffee. I want to get to know the people that we serve and I think that is so important to build those relationships.”
Kellum said she is ready to make her community proud and bring her talents to the city to build something special in Gluckstadt.