Paz strives for great customer service, integrity as Lubbock’s 17th City Secretary

Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 8:00 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Courtney Paz had her first official day as Lubbock’s 17th City Secretary on Wednesday following the City Council’s unanimous decision to appoint her to the office, which was the first change of its leadership in more than two decades.

“I’m very excited for this,” Paz told KCBD. “When I became Deputy City Secretary in July of 2017 and got to work with Becky Garza, the former City Secretary, I knew then that I wanted to be the city secretary. I made it very well known to her that whatever training, mentoring she could offer me, this was my next goal.”

Paz has served as interim City Secretary since Becky Garza’s retirement on Feb. 28. Garza led the office since 2001.

Prior to becoming Deputy City Secretary, Paz worked at the South Plains Association of Governments Regional Services. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Master of Public Administration from Texas Tech University.

“I really enjoy what this office does,” Paz said. “Even when I was working on my Master’s at [Texas] Tech, I did an internship with the City of Levelland. I remember the city secretary there told me you should look into city secretary field.”

While the duties of a city secretary may vary between cities, Paz said the role is more than what the name may imply.

“We do a lot more than secretarial work,” Paz said. “We do draft emails, letters, those type of correspondence - but our work is much greater than just answering a phone and transferring it.”

Much of that work involves assisting Lubbock citizens with records and getting them involved in the governance of the city.

“One of our main components is boards and commissions,” Paz said. “The City has...approximately 49 boards at any given time. That is a very important component, one of our direct ways we interact with citizens.”

The Office of the City Secretary also issues a variety of permits, including for use of right-of-way, noise permits, charitable permits and others.

“We also handle elections out of this office,” Paz said. “That’s very important, especially to our elected officials. We are repository for a lot of their documents. I’m also over the vital statistics area, so birth and death records.”

As the records repository for the city, the City Secretary also has a big role in City Council meetings.

“We take the minutes for the meeting,” Paz said. “We’re there to assist the council members in what they need. We process all of the ordinances and resolutions and make sure they are retained properly. We assist in posting agendas and creating agendas.”

Whatever the task, Paz said she’s excited for the next step in her public service.

“I hope to just bring the continued excellent customer service we offer and to keep being innovative, trying new things and being ethical and showing great integrity to the City of Lubbock and the citizens.”

Paz said there are internship positions available in her office. Click here for contact information.