City clerk still loves her job after 16 years

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee City Clerk Lane Gamiotea was recently re-elected, when no challengers qualified to run against her in the November election, and began serving her fifth term in office.

Mrs. Gamiotea has served the public in this capacity for the last 16 years and spent 14 years as deputy clerk prior to her first term. No one has ever run against her in any election. When she explained the duties of the city clerk, it was easy to see why.

Lane Gamiotea is in her file room.

The city clerk acts as secretary to the mayor and the city council, keeps them informed of all law changes, attends any meetings they attend, handles city advertising, is keeper of the city seal, keeps all records for the city going back as far as 1915, is supervisor of elections for the city (coordinating with the county), and has many, many other duties.

Despite the many hats she wears, Mrs. Gamiotea absolutely loves her job. As a matter of fact, her favorite thing about it is that it’s never the same. She enjoys doing anything from party planning to organizing files. She said that she especially enjoys helping people, and it is very important to her that her staff go the extra mile for the citizens of Okeechobee.

Mrs. Gamiotea and her staff maintain a records room and a vault with records of all minutes, resolutions, ordinances, building permits, etc. pertaining to the city. Their records are so well-organized that someone can walk in off the street and request a roofing permit from 20 years ago, and Mrs. Gamiotea can walk to a box and pull it out.

Mrs. Gamiotea has lived in Okeechobee since she was 18 months old. Her father, Ganz Earnest, was the first principal of Central Elementary School, which at that time was called the Primary School. She and her husband, Jamie, have raised two daughters here. Her oldest graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers and now works in forensics, and her younger daughter is in high school.

When she has free time, Mrs. Gamiotea enjoys spending time with her daughter. She calls herself a swim mom, because her daughter is on the swim team and Mrs. Gamiotea helps with that. She is also one of the coordinators for the women’s group at the First Baptist Church, and helps with their youth group. She is involved with several committees at the Florida Association of City Clerks, where she has formed many lifelong friendships. She mentioned that her husband is a member of the police auxiliary and is chairman of the code enforcement board.

Mrs. Gamiotea is happy to have been re-elected. She enjoys serving the people of Okeechobee, she says. “I believe my family has servants’ hearts,” she said. “Maybe because my husband and I are both preacher’s kids.”

Whatever the reason may be, congratulations to Mrs. Gamiotea, and may you always enjoy your job.

This is the city clerk’s vault.

 

Lane Gamiotea with her records and files.

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

The Lake Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and now includes news from around the lake every Wednesday.

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