In Massachusetts, the Town Clerk is the chief election official of a town and the keeper of permanent and vital records. While the duties of Town Clerks are largely defined by Mass. General Laws (MGL) and regulations, they do vary slightly for each community.
In Hawley, the Town Clerk’s duties include, but are not limited to, the following areas of responsibility:
- #1 – Elections — The Town Clerk serves as Chief Election Officer for the Town.
- #2 – Town Meetings — The Town Clerk records Town Meeting votes, sends accepted bylaws to the Attorney General’s office for approval, assists the Moderator in scheduling, preparing for and conducting the meetings, and in the absense of the Moderator, presides over the Town Meeting until an interim moderator can be approved by the assembled voters.
- #3 – Vital Statistics — The Town Clerk serves as Registrar of Vital Statistics and keeps records of all births, deaths, marriages and changes of marital status in the Town.
- #4 – Town Reports, Meeting Notices and Minutes — The Town Clerk prepares the Town Clerk Report and Board of Registrars Reports for the Annual Town Report, and receives and files meeting notices and minutes of all town boards and committees.
- #5 – Public Notice Filings — the Town Clerk handfles all public notice filings for and relevant to the Town. These include filings for telephone pole locations, business certificates, applications, maps and decisions of the Planning Board, and documents pertaining to preliminary and definitive decisions of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
- #6 – Licenses and Permits — The Town Clerk issues, and maintains records relating to a variety of State and Town Licenses, Permits and Certificates, including burial permits, dog licenses, marriage licenses, and business licenses.
- #7 – Information Source — The Town Clerk acts as an Information Source to the Town departments and to the general public regarding all federal, state, and local regulations and Town bylaws, rules and regulations, as well as serving as Custodian of all Town Records.
Clerks who have been in office five or more years may be elected by special ballot initiative to a lifetime term with mandatory retirement at age 70, after which they may remain in office if they run for successive terms.
Pamela Shrimpton is Hawley’s Town Clerk. Contact Pam via email by clicking HERE. Or call and leave a message for her at (413) 339-5518. Pam conducts regular office hours at the Town Office on Wednesdays from 9 am – 12:00 pm.
The Town of Hawley adopted a new Position Description for its Town Clerk in June, 2013. To download a copy of that description (it’s a 301 kb, .pdf file), CLICK HERE.
As an adjunct to its work on the Town Clerk position description, the Town also created an Appendix, based on earlier work done by members of the Massachusetts Town Clerks’ Association. This Appendix lists brief summaries and live reference links to the MGL website for most of the Commonwealth’s Laws that assign duties to the Town Clerk position. To download a copy of that appendix (it’s a 512 kb, .pdf file), CLICK HERE.