Rochester weighs making Town Clerk appointed position

Apr 1, 2019

ROCHESTER — Town Clerk Naida Parker has announced her retirement, and Selectmen view the shift as a chance to change the position from an elected to an appointed one.

“I’ve done some research. We’ve grown a lot and changed a lot. I believe the office should be open the same hours as Town Hall,” said Chair Woody Hartley at an April 1 meeting. 

He pointed out that towns of similar sizes have a mix of appointed and elected Town Clerks. But elected officials are allowed to set their own hours, while the town can set hours for an appointed officials.

Hiring a town clerk would also allow the town to provide a backup for the clerk, as many other towns do.

Hartley explained that as recently as 2013 the town had a paid town clerk in the system. He then asked his fellow Selectmen for their opinion.

“I’m in favor of presenting this to the voters. It allows us to increase the level of professionalism,”  said Brad Morse.

The other member of the board, Paul Ciaburri, agreed.

“Town is growing and needs access to at town clerk every day,” Ciaburri said, though he noted “I appreciated the chance to look at the other side [of the issue]. I hadn’t done that before.”