To the editor:
What does a town clerk do? Here's just a partial list of responsibilities:
The clerk conducts the annual town census, prepares the street list of residents, oversees polling places, election of officers, and the general conduct of all elections, directs preparation of ballots, polling places, voting equipment and voting lists, administers campaign finance laws, certifies nomination papers and initiative petitions.
The clerk serves on the local Board of Registrars, supervises voter registration and absentee ballots, prepares, records and reports official election results to the Secretary of State of the Commonwealth. The clerk also issues state licenses and permits, including marriage licenses.
The town clerk also issues local licenses, permits, and certificates as mandated by statute or bylaw, which include: business certificates and dog licenses, administers the oath of office to all elected and appointed members of local boards and committees, ensures that all elected and appointed officials are informed in writing of the State's Open Meeting and conflict of interest laws, and posts meetings notices of all government bodies.
As the official keeper of the records for the town of Rockport, the town clerk provides access to public records in compliance with State Public Records law.
The town clerk is also responsible for maintenance, disposition, and preservation of municipal archival records and materials, maintains records of adopted municipal codes, general bylaws and zoning bylaws, resignations, appointments, petitions, publications, budgets, election results and town meeting minutes and financial statements. The Town Clerk also submits general bylaws and zoning bylaws to Attorney General for approval and maintains the Annual List of Residents.
Pat Brown has served as acting town clerk since September 2011 and as assistant town clerk for six years. We have a very unique situation in that this election is for a one-year term, to fill out the remaining term of the retired town clerk. At this time, it is unsure if the position will be elected or appointed in the future.
With a presidential election to run, the annual town census and an assistant who transferred to the position in October, it is vital that we have someone with experience in this position.
As a member of the Council on Aging and the Community House Management Board, I have found Pat to always be helpful, knowledgeable and courteous.
I endorse Patricia Brown for town clerk and hope you will consider her experience as an asset to the town of Rockport and that you consider casting your vote for her on May 8, 2012.
FAYE E. ANDERSON
Ganon Court, Rockport