New Jersey Municipal Leader Starts at Rutgers, Goes Worldwide
Vincent Buttiglieri once only had a yearning to work in local government in New Jersey.
Now, he’s a worldwide leader among municipal clerks, having taken in 2016 the top post as president of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC)—a professional association with 9,500 members in the U.S., Canada, and 15 other countries.
So how did the clerk in Ocean Township in Monmouth County, N.J., become the quintessential clerk in the world?
Buttiglieri first needed credentials. So he turned to Rutgers.
Buttiglieri earned his Registered Municipal Clerk (RMC) certification, mandated by statute for clerks in New Jersey, via the five-course education program for municipal clerks at the Rutgers Center for Government Services. It took him three years attending classes while working full time as a financial analyst for the New Jersey Highway Authority. He then sat for and passed the state exam.
Entering the municipal workforce in 2000 was just the start of his professional journey, though. His peers pointed out to him IIMC’s two professional designations: Certified Municipal Clerk and Master Municipal Clerk.
“I went through both programs and got my Master Municipal Clerk certification in 2011. At that point, I was one of 31 municipal clerks in the state of New Jersey to have that designation,” recalled Buttiglieri. Moved to help others learn, he volunteered and moved up in leadership positions with IIMC, and also served as president of the Municipal Clerks Association of New Jersey in 2010.
Vincent Buttiglieri, MMC, gained entry into a new career in municipal government after earning a certification via the Rutgers Center for Government Services.
Municipal clerks are the backbone of municipal government. “I just think it's a noble profession,” commented Buttiglieri. “The job is something that, unfortunately, people overlook, because our duties may not be quantifiable. Municipal clerks do a little bit of everything, and a lot of a lot of things.”
He added, “I don't know that, other than township administrators or managers, there's another position that has the ability to impact local government as much as a municipal clerk.”
IIMC’s international educational mission matches the passion Buttligieri has followed locally. “That's really what I'm focusing on in my year as president: that each one of us has a lot of talent and a lot of ability, and can really positively impact our municipalities and our governing bodies,” he explained.
“The laws are constantly changing, and the challenge for us is keeping abreast of those changes, and then adapting to meet the needs,” Buttiglieri said. “That’s why the continuing education aspect of our job is so important.” New Jersey requires 20 hours of continuing ed every two years.
Since fall 2011, Rutgers Center for Government Services has had 2,050 enrollments in municipal clerk courses, reported Laura Flagg, senior program coordinator. It also serves as a provider of education for the IIMC’s designation programs.
Buttiglieri credited the university for educational leadership in local government. “We are very fortunate that the municipal clerks of New Jersey have an incredible institute in Rutgers University, led by our Institute Director Laura Flagg,” he commented in a June 2016 article in New Jersey Municipalities magazine announcing his IIMC leadership. He is the seventh New Jersey clerk and first since 2004-5 to hold the post.
“I cannot be more pleased with Laura, and what she does, and how she handles the program, and what she provides our municipal clerks in New Jersey,” Buttiglieri commented, noting there are some 800 municipal clerks in the state. “She's been receptive to ideas on how to provide education. She’s been aggressive in embracing the whole IIMC education model, and the CMC and MMC certification programs.”
About Rutgers Center for Government Services: The Center for Government Services (CGS) has been providing timely and relevant training for New Jersey state and local officials for more than 60 years. With a mission to improve the knowledge, competency, and professionalism of state and local government officials and employees, CGS (with its partner the Center for Executive Leadership in Government) trains more than 8,000 individuals each year through 22 programs that include more than 750 individual courses, seminars, and conferences.