Town clerk has vast number of varied duties

To the Editor:
The town clerk position remains a vital and critical part of local government, which is what makes choosing a replacement clerk so difficult. It is almost impossible to describe how big the clerk’s shoes are to be filled.

The town clerk is the first and foremost face-to-face link between our town government and our residents. The town clerk is responsible for a wide variety of duties and responsibilities that makes every day challenging, unpredictable, and never boring.

The town clerk works behind the scenes to make sure that the local government runs smoothly. The position requires being knowledgeable about daily operations in both the business side (interactions with vendors, the smooth and timely operation of staff functions) and the community (everything from transfer-station hours to the necessary documentation required for receiving a dog license, a handicap parking pass, or for reproductions of public documents).

In our town, the town clerk is also the vital records registrar; records officer; and human-resource manager, managing the records, insurance, benefits, and the local, state and federal requirements that apply to our town employees. 

The town clerk in the role as the secretary to the town board is responsible for posting notices for meetings, roll call, and meeting minutes and assisting the town supervisor and town board members with documentation and any matters regarding the setup of the board meetings.

In short, the town clerk is responsible for vast amounts of institutional knowledge (they know how and why past decisions were made) and the ability to successfully navigate the vast number of varied duties required to facilitate the smooth operation of the town offices.

The clerk’s office must combine honesty, efficiency, competency, and trust to serve all the constituencies that depend on them for the smooth operation of the town.

This November we will be selecting a new town clerk and for the reasons stated above I am recommending and supporting Kristin Francis for this very vital and important role.

Anita C. Clayton

Berne Town Clerk

Editor’s note: Anita C. Clayton is not seeking re-election as Berne town clerk; she is running for Berne Town Board. Both Clayton and Kristin Francis are running on the Republican and Conservative lines.

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