Select Page

Chris“Elections are my favorite part of my job. At UW Oshkosh, I was the USRH Elections Commissioner, so I’ve had a passion for Elections for a long time,” writes Chris Astrella, who graduated in 2003 with a major in Political Science and a minor in Business Administration. He is the Deputy Clerk/Treasurer for the village of Deerfield (population 2,500) and has been a municipal Clerk for over 11 ½ years.

“The life of a Clerk is a busy one, and we have lots of responsibilities. From Agenda and minute preparation, to elections, property tax collections, handling resident complaints, administering the budget, being the official custodian of records, utility billing…I could go on and on. My days are never the same!” Chris notes. “In a typical day, people come in to pay their utility bills, call to see if their payments were processed, ask questions regarding the election, and I usually have minutes to prepare. And there are a lot of people coming into register to vote, and vote, so much of my day is devoted to that.”

Chris’s path to his job was relatively linear. “I saw a job ad for my first position as a Deputy Clerk/Treasurer/Administrator in the Wisconsin State Journal. The Clerk Community is a tight-knit one so networking is really important. In the past five or so years, certifications have become an important way to distinguish yourself and demonstrate the importance of education to municipal boards. The education we receive at conferences, district meetings, and from the Wisconsin Elections Commission are of vital importance…our jobs depend on it!”

It’s clear that Chris loves his job, and others have noticed, too. He’s currently the President of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association (WMCA), representing and leading “a stellar group of 1,400 municipal clerks across Wisconsin and being in contact with the media, legislators and even NGOs out of Washington DC. It’s been one of the great accomplishments of my life and I love the career path I have chosen.”

Chris places a high value on the education he received in our department and beyond at UW Oshkosh. “As [clerks’] jobs have gotten more technical and driven by changes in technology, the requirements for education have increased and there is a need for bright people who have the patience to work in local government (the wheels of government turn slowly, but they turn!). Being a Political Science major has given me the educational experience and critical thinking to excel in my job. Additionally, as a part of my job, continuing education is suggested, and in some parts of it required. I already knew what to expect as far as education, and I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned and teach it to others when needed.”

Want to contact Chris to learn more about working in local government? Email him at ! And don’t forget to VOTE next Tuesday, if you haven’t already!