Saturday May 12, 2012

Monday is the annual town election in Dalton. My husband Bill and I have been residents of Dalton for 42 years and we research each candidate and vote for the most qualified person, always keeping character and values in mind. We also look at what the decision means to the town financially.

Our current town clerk, Bar bara Suriner, has served in this capacity for 26 years. Not only does she have the experience but has the education needed for her position. She graduated from the Salve’s Certified Municipal Clerk’s school and attends ongoing classes at least twice a year.

The clerk must have extensive knowledge of Massa chusetts General Law and local laws and be able to apply these, sometimes immediately. As supervisor of Registrars and elections administrator, the town clerk must oversee all procedures at all elections. This year’s presidential election is no time for a new clerk to practice and "transition." I am a registered voter of a party other than that of Ms Suriner. She has always been more than helpful, has advised us on laws, procedures and deadlines so that we will always be in compliance. She is a trustworthy woman of honor whom I admire.

The remuneration for town clerks is prescribed by state law and confirmed by the town. The town clerk gets a salary that is reduced by $4 hour to collect some licenses and dog and police fine fees. A small portion of these fees are retained by the town clerk.


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This arrangement allows the town to pay the lesser salary which reduces the eventual retirement pension of the clerk. If this agreement is reversed by a vote of the citizens of Dalton, the salary would be raised to match equal managerial positions in Dalton. This was a proposal at the special town meeting in June of 2011 and was voted down due to its impact on the budget.

Barbara Suriner has taken on many additional duties without additional compensation and with reduced staffing. Her opponent has no experience and claims none.

Please vote for Barbara Suriner with us on May 14: Dalton CRA 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.. Your vote matters.

KATHRYN MICKLE

Dalton