Rochester Select Board proposes appointing Town Clerk position

Mar 7, 2023

ROCHESTER — The Rochester Select Board voted unanimously to present a warrant article changing the position of Town Clerk from an elected to an appointed position during a meeting on Monday, March. 6.

Chairman Woody Hartley suggested presenting the change again at Spring Town Meeting. The issue was previously voted on as a ballot question in 2020  but lost by 77 votes. 

“You may want to consider [the vote] again,” said Hartley. “To give us an option.”

According to Hartley, changing the position to be appointed will increase the Town Clerk’s working hours, making them more accessible to the town.

Town clerks manage daily operations like assisting town boards and committees, stamping town documents and running elections.

With Spring Town Meeting approaching on Monday, May 22, Hartley suggested the board act on the matter quickly. 

Town Administrator Glenn Cannon agreed, noting how the board can use the article that was written for the 2020 Town Meeting.

According to Hartley, the opportunity to change the Town Clerk to an appointed position  presented itself after current Town Clerk Paul Dawson announced that he will not be running for reelection on Feb. 22.

Dawson was elected as Town Clerk in 2020 and has decided not to run for reelection due to “serious health problems” involving close family.

“It has been my distinct honor and pleasure to have been [served] in this important role,” said Dawson in a statement. “I am grateful to the Select Board for first placing their trust in me in appointing me to this position. I am also extremely thankful for the voters of Rochester who elected me to continue to do this work.”

“He’s done a great job in the office and will be difficult to replace,” said Hartley. 

Nomination papers are available at town hall. The last day to obtain nomination papers is Wednesday, April. 4. The last day to submit nomination papers is April. 5. To view the election calendar visit under “news and announcements.”