WESTFIELD – Many people cycle though the Westfield City Hall, whether it be to fill out paper work or as an elected official. Since Mayor Rick Sullivan took office 1999 to the day his brother Brian was sworn in on Nov. 9, Pam Ardito has been a constant in the building.
Ardito began volunteering in City Hall in the mayor’s office, running errands as needed, and has since moved on to the City Clerk’s office. She has been filing, shredding papers and bringing life into the office every Monday since.
Assistant City Clerk Donna Roy has been in the department for 17 years and she has never known an office without “Pammy,” she said.
“She just contributes happiness and puts us in our place and tell us that life is good,” Roy said. “She’s a dear to have here, an absolute dear. The sun is shining today. This is what she brings to this office – lots and lots of sunshine. She really changes things around for us.”
Ardito said she has learned a great deal since beginning in the City Clerk’s office, including about voting, registration and the census. She is hard at work for a full day, getting the mail or making sure voters are not disturbed during elections, but Ardito does not mind.
“I love it, the work I do” she said. When asked if coming into the office was the best part of her week, Ardito’s answer was a simple, “Yes.”
Roy said that though there is always some work Ardito can do, on less busy days, she is on the hunt to stay busy.
“I tell you, she doesn’t stop working from the time she gets here to the time she leaves,” Roy said. “If we don’t have something for her, she’s always asking for something to do. We always find something because she doesn’t like to be without work.”
It is not all work for Ardito, though. She said her favorite part of the day is lunch, when the office orders from Bella Rome. Her recommendation: chicken quesadillas.
Over the years, she has become a fixture in the building with many friends in other departments. After lunch, friends will come to the City Clerk’s office to check in, and every Monday Ardito takes a stroll to visit and say hello to her friends in other departments. Weekly stops include the mayor’s office, the Health Department and to see Joe Mitchell, the City Advancement Officer.
“She likes to be involved and she knows the departments,” Roy said.
Ardito’s active social life goes well beyond the walls of City Hall. She said she takes part in the Special Olympics, competing in soccer, basketball, bowling and track and field. Ardito even had a special moment in a recent soccer tournament.
“I got a goal, the winning goal. I liked it. I was [excited],” Ardito said. “It sure is [incredible]. Everything is incredible.”
Roy said that having Ardito in the office has “absolutely” changed the environment in the office.
“I’ve learned patience, to always look for work and keep busy. She’s always so willing to work with everybody in this office,” Roy said. “There’s not one person that she won’t work with. She’s brought us together as a department.”
City Clerk Karen Fanion echoed that Ardito has brought something unique to their office.
“We look forward to seeing Pammy every Monday. She’s like a burst of sunshine. She is a dedicated, hard-working individual,” Fanion said. “Whatever task we give her to do, she does it with perfection. She has an unbelievable memory. She often recalls the days we used to watch soccer games when my sons played, and that is more than 10 years ago. Once she meets someone, she never forgets their name. She is an absolute joy to have in the office.”
That feeling is not one-way.
“I’m always happy I’m here,” Ardito said. “I look forward to being here on Mondays.”