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Nancy Oates: 

What draws you to the position of town clerk and why are you seeking this position?

When I was asked 30 years ago to run for Town Clerk, I wasn’t sure that I would be the right fit.

The gentleman who called me was an attorney and he said that the Town Clerk was retiring . He thought with my college background and masters degree I would be a perfect fit. I said that I really didn’t think that I would be comfortable speaking in public. I certainly conquered that. The rest is history and I love being Town Clerk.

What qualifications do you have for this position?

I hold a bachelor of science degree in education from Framingham State College and  a masters degree from Simmons College in education. I had four small children when I received that degree, girls ages 4, 3, 2 and a 6 week old boy. I ran a nursery school at my home on Surplus St. for 12 years - Snug Harbor Nursery School.  I was a stay at home mother until I lost my husband on Dec. 11, 1982 and won the election on March 26, 1983 in a field of three. I won by four votes and the candidate with that nearest vote to mine asked for a recount. She got one hanging “chad “and I was declared the winner. That was 10 days after the election. People were amazed that I could do the recount and carry it through with professionalism.

What will you specifically bring to this position?

My love for dealing with people, my education and my continuing certification as  “Certified Massachusetts Municipal Clerk.” This has taken a great deal of studying and time over the last 18 years and must be renewed every four years. The current certification will expire on October 31, 2015.

What goals would you like to achieve in this position?

Most of my work is governed by the Massachusetts state laws. They have provided us with a state computer and many programs with registering voters, keeping up with my laws, printing voters lists for checking in voters for town meetings and elections. We even have a   program from the  MA Vitals department which sends us birth certificates directly from the State and not from the hospitals. They are working on a death certificate program for the clerks and things are always advancing. I will continue to keep up to date with all the changes. It is such an interesting position. There is very little we can change because the laws are very strict. I have done new things which are allowed, “Mail in dog licenses,” moving all six precincts so that we are all lost at the same location and not across at Chandler School when we were split into two voting locations.

What are your strengths and what can you improve upon?

My strength is being a many tasked person and dealing with many interruptions. I enjoy what I do and love helping people. I like to use the slogan stolen from a hamburger company “special orders don’t upset us.” I try to keep calm. When asked for something, I tend to get that right to the department asking or our fellow citizens. I am sure that voters and others always know that that I am available. I appreciate that I have been elected so many times and I hope that I can continue for three more years.

 

Susan Kelley: 

What draws you to the position of town clerk and why are you seeking this position?

Having served as Duxbury's Assistant Town Clerk for 2 ½ years, I realize that there are many opportunities to streamline the operations of the Town Clerk's office.   I enjoy interacting with the public and feel it is important that the residents are satisfied with their Town Clerk experience whether it be assistance with voter registration, absentee ballots, licenses, certificates or the many other services provided by the office.

In addition, the role of record keeper for the Town is a tremendous responsibility.  The Town Clerk's office maintains records dating back to the 1600's; being part of Duxbury's historic past, present and future is an honor.

What qualifications do you have for this position?

Because of my previous experience in the Town Clerk's office, I already have a working knowledge of the office, processes, procedures and the responsibilities of Town Clerk, which will make my transition seamless.

What will you specifically bring to this position?

My time as assistant to the Town Manager, participation in Town Meeting preparations and the weekly Board of Selectmen's meetings have given me a unique perspective on how other Duxbury town departments function.  Going forward, coordination with the town's management team is of paramount importance to the future efficiency of the Town Clerk's office.

Seventeen years of relevant experience in the private sector in data and document management as well as governmental compliance, will translate well to this position.  I have the skill-set necessary to take advantage of the recent Town-Meeting-approved updates to the town's technology infrastructure which will facilitate better organization of the massive amounts of information for which the office is responsible.

As a notary public, I will offer notary services during town hall business hours - a service not currently available.

What goals would you like to achieve in this position?

My primary goal is efficiency.  The Town Clerk's office is woefully lacking in current technology and needs modernization.  While servicing people at the counter is, and will continue to be, an integral part of the job, I will work to bring services to the public outside of Town Hall hours.  For many, Web access provides the only way to access essential information and services.  By enhancing the Town Clerk's page on the town Web site with interactive links, people will have the opportunity to do business via their computer or smart phone at their convenience.  Another important update that I will work to install in the office is the ability to use debit and credit cards, both on-line and at the counter.  Anything less in today's business environment is unacceptable.

What are your strengths and what can you improve upon?

I am an unbiased professional with a strong work ethic and commitment to improving the Town Clerk's office.  My work experience, organizational and technical skills will allow me to bring needed improvements to the Town Clerk's office while still providing a high level of personal customer service.

A third generation resident, I am invested in this community and committed to serving the residents of Duxbury and visitors to our beautiful town.  I would be honored to serve as your next Town Clerk.  I ask for your vote on Saturday, March 23.