WHEELING – Members of Wheeling City Council on Tuesday night approved the appointment of city resident Jessica Zalenski as the new City Clerk.
The position was left vacant after previous Wheeling City Clerk Brenda J. Delbert was named the city’s new Building and Planning Director, a post that was vacant for several months after former Planning Director Tom Connelly left for a new position at the Federal Building.
Although Delbert had been working full time in her new role in the city’s Building and Planning Department since early February, she has also been helping perform duties of the City Clerk while a search commenced for her replacement.
“When Ms. Delbert gave us the news a couple of months ago that she had accepted another position within the city, it put us in a tough spot realizing we had to go through another interview process again,” Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott said, noting that council members were sad to see her leave the clerk’s position. “We went out and worked with city staff, worked with the human resources department and advertised the position. I believe we got 18 resumes and we interviewed several folks. In our opinion, Ms. Zalenski stood out as the right fit for the position.”
Elliott said when the city hired Delbert for the clerk’s position in 2017, they made a deliberate decision to prioritize a customer service approach for the job. The mayor said they sought a replacement that had similar skills and found that in Zalenski.
“She brings a lot of customer service background,” Elliott said. “When we hired Ms. Delbert a couple of years ago, that was a priority for us.”
The mayor said Zalenski emerged as the best candidate for the position and congratulated her on her appointment.
“I’m thrilled to bring her on board,” Elliott said. “It’s going to be a learning curve – it’s going to be a new position for her. But Ms. Delbert is still here and has agreed to mentor her on the city clerk part of the job, but I have every faith and confidence in her. We’re thrilled to have her here.”
The City Clerk’s Office serves as a document and information resource to the city council, all city departments and to the citizens of the city. The mayor, with the advice and consent of council, appoints the city clerk.
A graduate of the Linsly School, Zalenski has served as a sales and event coordinator, a receptionist and a retail manager. She has been responsible for obtaining and retaining customers, record keeping, employee management and all aspects of customer service. She previously served as store manager at Bath and Body Works at The Highlands and more recently as sales and event coordinator with Roxby Development.
“I love working with people – I’m really excited to serve the city and to be that connection piece between community members and city council, and be that resource for everybody,” Zalenski said. “While there’s some learning to do, I believe my professional experience is a great foundation for this position, and I’m eager to get started.
“I’m very much looking forward to my new role as City Clerk.”
Members of Wheeling City Council again thanked Delbert for her service to the city and for her help in making the transition with Zalenski.
“It’s been a pleasure working with Ms. Delbert,” said Councilman Ben Seidler. “She’s absolutely been a critical part of this city council.”