Well I think summer is finally here!
We just had a terrific conference in Plymouth and I hope everyone enjoyed themselves, learned a lot and enjoyed visiting with all our clerk and vendor friends. Thanks to Bob and Nancy for their hard work at the hotel and Dottie and the Education Committee for getting us some great classes and the credits to go along with them!
For those of you who could not make it this year, we gave our Legislature of the Year Award to Brad Jones who has assisted us in getting reimbursed for a lot of the cost of early voting among other things. Also, a BIG Congratulations to our Clerk of the Year of Ellen Cushman!
I cannot believe this is the last time for me to be sworn in. The year has flown by and this coming year I am sure will be the same with the extra elections. It was an honor to be sworn in with my fellow officers by a terrific fellow clerk and great friend, Tedi Eaton, Thanks Tedi! Also, I was very happy to have our 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents alongside me as well as our new E-Board Member Terri Bunce.
I would like to thank the E-Board for all of their hard work on different assignments that they have taken on behind the scenes. We have Deb working on getting a history of all the clerks in each town, Danielle and her many many hours of work on the software for the MTCA which helps makes all our work much easier, and all the other little things that mean so much that each of you do.
And lastly, I want to thank everyone for all your help making it a successful and fun year!
Enjoy your summer and see you in the Fall at Springfield!
Beacon Hill Report
By Thomas Joyce, Esq.
At your Convention in Plymouth last week I was delighted to present the Massachusetts Town Clerk’s Legislator of the Year Award to Representative Brad Jones, the House Minority Leader from North Reading. Brad has been Leader for nearly 14 years and has always been eager to hear our concerns. In fact, Brad was instrumental in assuring that municipalities receive reimbursement for early voting costs. Thank you for supporting his nomination.
On Beacon Hill the legislature is primarily focused on getting the fiscal budget to Governor Baker’s desk by June 30th. Additionally, the Senate passed a sweeping clean energy bill last week and the House is debating a 130-page health care bill this week. The health care bill will assure community hospitals continue to be able to serve patients. The House has decided to name the bill after the late Representative Peter Kocot, the Association’s past recipient of your Legislator of the Year Award.
I should report that for most of 2018 we have been keenly aware that the legislature’s agenda has been slowed by the former Senate President investigations and his ultimate resignation from the Senate last month. Current Senate President Harriet Chandler of Worcester will reportedly be stepping down next month to make way for the election of Senator Karen Spilka of Ashland to lead the Senate. Senator Spilka has been Chair of the branch’s powerful Ways & Means Committee for the last six years. I am sure she will hit the ground running as she is an experienced leader.
Notwithstanding the above, I am pleased to report that two bills we endorsed are near passage in the House of Representatives. First, House Bill 2673, a proposal that removes the archaic “born out of wedlock” birth records from the list of restricted vital records and second, House Bill 382 relative to polling places, which expands the venues to conduct polling to clubs like VFW’s ultimately relieving some schools from being the principal voting venues.
Also, 110 legislators have sponsored House Bill 4320 authorizing Automatic Voter Registration at the RMV and Department of Public Health. The proposal is also publicly supported by 45 organizations and enjoys a strong likelihood it will be considered by the legislature this session. There has also been a continuing movement to pass House Bill 4546, creating Community Development Districts. Not a new idea, versions of this bill have gotten a lot of traction in different spending proposals and have ultimately been eliminated. You may recall that these proposals require Clerks to undertake a number of tasks not within your purview such as certifying that petitioners are actual property owners within your towns.
Not to be overlooked are the upcoming elections. More than half of current legislators’ face opposition. While I suspect nearly all incumbents will be re-elected I expect there will be a few surprises, as is usually the case. The primary, with this year’s date having been set by Secretary Galvin for the day after Labor Day, will display some high-profile contests including his own. To name a few, eleven democrats are seeking the nomination to replace Congressperson Nicki Tsongas of Lowell which is getting a great deal of attention. Also, surprisingly, Secretary of State William Galvin faces a tough primary challenge from Boston City Councilor Joshua Zakim. He is a highly energized candidate whom recently received the Democratic Party endorsement at their recent convention in Worcester.
I will keep you informed as things develop.
The following individual has earned the prestigious Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) designation from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC):
Ann M. Quirk, MMC - Town Clerk - Town of Barnstable, MA - email@example.com
Dorothy A. Powers, MMC - Town Clerk - Town of Westwood, MA -firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Fox, MMC - Deputy Town Clerk - Town of Lincoln, MA - email@example.com
The Master Municipal Clerk (MMC) is one of the two professional designations granted by IIMC. To qualify for the MMC Designation, one must first earn the Certified Municipal Clerk Designation (CMC) as well commit to life-long learning by attending extensive advanced education programs and making significant professional contributions to the community and municipality in which they serve. Those that achieve the MMC Designation have demonstrated that they have actively pursued educational and professional activities and have remained informed of current socio-political, cultural, and economic issues that affect local governments and municipalities in today’s day of age.
Lori West, CMC - Clerk to the Board/Elected Town Clerk - Town of Hull, MA - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wendy Mickel, CMC - Town Clerk - Town of Westborough, MA - email@example.com
The Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) is one of the two professional designations granted by IIMC and is designed to enhance the job performance of the Clerk in small and large municipalities. To earn the CMC designation, a Municipal Clerk must attend extensive education programs often totaling more than 120 educational hours. The CMC designation also requires pertinent experience in a municipality. The CMC program prepares the applicants to meet the challenges of the complex role of the Municipal Clerk by providing them with quality education in partnership with institutions of higher learning, as well as State/Provincial/National Associations. The CMC program has been assisting clerks to excel since 1970.
Founded in 1947, IIMC is a professional association with more than 14,000 members in the US, Canada and 15 other countries. IIMC’s primary goal is to actively promote the continuing education and professional development of municipal clerks through extensive education programs, certification, publications, networking, annual conferences and research. IIMC also engages in municipal research administration, enhances critical professional skill development and fosters a spirit of mutual assistance and good fellowship among municipal clerks around the globe. IIMC is governed by a 26-member Board of Directors.