New Sharon voters overwhelmingly turned down a proposal to change the town clerk and tax collector from an elective position to an appointive one Wednesday at a special town meeting.

Voters felt the selection of the clerk and tax collector was one of the powers they still had as the town’s legislative body and they weren’t ready to give it up, said Selectman Travis Pond in a phone interview Thursday.

“I think what it came down to is it was one of the few things we can still vote on in town government,” Pond said.

The town’s clerk and tax collector are elected to one-year positions during the annual Town Meeting.

When proposing the change to an appointive position, selectmen reasoned that unqualified people could be elected to the position and could set their own hours and even work from home. It also complicated filling a vacant position when an official resigned, selectmen argued.

Town Clerk Susan Anneley, elected in March, stepped down from her position earlier this month. Selectmen appointed Pamela Griswold Adams to replace her on an interim basis.


Proponents said having the selectmen appoint the officials would provide some control over qualifications and work hours, and it would give the appointed officials employment stability, rather than subjecting them to an election every year.

Voters on Wednesday disagreed.

Pond said the result on Wednesday was the same as when selectmen proposed changing the positions several years ago. Pond said he is considering proposing a change that would give the clerk and tax collector multiple-year terms in office instead of being elected annually.

“That way, it would provide the townspeople the authority, but also provide the person doing the duty the continuity of having a job for more than 12 months,” Pond said.

Residents approved the other items on the town meeting warrant, including authorizing the selectmen to sell granite blocks reclaimed from an old bridge in town and the old library building, approving a three-year contract for winter road work, authorizing the selectmen to rent out the Town Office, and approving the transfer of funds from the dissolved New Sharon Historical Society back to the town to be used by a new historical committee.

Pond said the meeting had to be moved from the Town Office to the Congregational Church vestry, and then to the church itself to accommodate everyone who showed up. The number of residents who voted wasn’t available.

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