Concern Citizen Comment: Town Clerk Should be a Civil Service Position Not an Elected One

Sept. 20, 2018

Let me state up front that the department that administers the duties entrusted to the office of the town clerk have a very important ministerial role in the day-to-day activities of town government. However, the public can be best served if the head of this department were to be deemed a civil service position and take it completely out of the hands of the politicians. With very few exceptions over the past several decades has anyone won this position based any relevant experience for this job along with the requisite technical skills in information record keeping technology, not to mention being well grounded in town law?

In short this position is usually nothing more than a way station for a budding politician to grab an obscene salary (thank you Ms. Spoth), benefits and pension until the next gravy train comes by while the unsung worker bees carry the ball.

My sincerest sympathy to the present Deputy Town Clerk, her staff and the others before who have to do the real work to make the trains, planes and automobiles run on time while they break in yet another 90 day wonder.

I know this won’t happen, but I can dream. I wish for this election for town clerk that people would come to their senses and recognize that whatever candidate gets this plum will not render any meaningful value to town government and act accordingly and not cast a vote for either of them. Now I know a few people will anyway, but if the vote was so embarrassingly low, think of the message it would send to those that are currently in office and the political parties that give us these choices. Who knows, it might even make the national news.

3 Responses to “Concern Citizen Comment: Town Clerk Should be a Civil Service Position Not an Elected One”

  1. John Snyder says:

    Civil Servants gain seniority (pay and benefits) by just showing up – difficult or impossible to terminate.

    Elected officials can be voted out of office for poor or unpopular performance.

  2. Dan Ward says:

    Agreed – the Town Clerk should not be an elected position – however the Town Comptroller should be .

  3. John Snyder says:

    OUTSOURCE! Think about cutting some of the heavy costs of Amherst government by outsourcing the duties of the Town Clerk’s office to the private sector.

    COMBINE! Think also of combining the Town Clerk’s office with other (county) personnel and space.

    This is an excellent time for changes to cut the costs of government.