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Shelburne clerk to leave 21-year post

Shelburne Town Clerk Beverly Neeley

Recorder/Diane Broncaccio

Shelburne Town Clerk Beverly Neeley Recorder/Diane Broncaccio

SHELBURNE — After serving for over two decades, Town Clerk Beverly A. Neeley will be stepping down from office.

“I do want some time to myself,” says Neeley, who is 71. “This was to have been my last year — Bill and I had discussed this,” Neeley said of her husband, who died last year. “His death just made it seem more the right decision.”

Neeley was first elected in May 1989. She stayed on as town clerk until 1997, when she did not seek re-election. In 2000, she was appointed to serve on a temporary basis, but stayed on. Neeley said she decided to stay until this May’s annual town election, in hopes that other residents would come forward to run for office.

“I like the position. It’s been both challenging and frustrating at the same time,” she said. “I’m going to start the election process at the beginning of February. I’m hoping somebody will come forward. It’s a very interesting position.”

When Neeley first started as town clerk, there wasn’t a computer in her office, she said. “I can remember bringing my old Mac computer in from home,” she said.

Within about a year, the town got one computer, which was shared by the town clerk, fiscal officer and treasurer, she said. Then the town clerk got her own computer.

When asked how the job has changed in her 21 years, Neeley said there have been “too many changes to name.” But one of the changes is all the online record-keeping by the town clerk.

“The town clerk’s position is no longer a 20-hour-a-week position, even in small towns,” she said.

Selectmen’s Chairman Joseph Judd says he’s known Neeley for about 40 years, when Bev and Bill Neeley ran the Shelburne Country Store on Route 2, and has worked with her as a town official for the last 13 years.

“Bev’s been a great town clerk — very dedicated and knowledgeable. She brings a special insight into her work and into what the Board of Selectmen does. She’s a fine individual, a great town clerk, and I’m going to miss her,” he said.

Neeley is the third town clerk in as many months to announce her departure after years of service. Deerfield’s town clerk of 17 years, Mary Stokarski, retired in December, and Greenfield Town Clerk Maureen Winseck is retiring, after 25 years of service, at the end of this month.

You can reach Diane Broncaccio at: dbroncaccio@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 277

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