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Greenfield Council begins search for new town clerk

Assistant Town Clerk Deborah Tuttle and Town Clerk Maureen Winseck in the Greenfield Town Hall.  Recorder/Paul Franz

Assistant Town Clerk Deborah Tuttle and Town Clerk Maureen Winseck in the Greenfield Town Hall. Recorder/Paul Franz Purchase photo reprints »

GREENFIELD — Town Council has begun its search for a town clerk to replace Maureen Winseck, who recently announced that she will retire from the position at the end of the month to join Fitzgerald Real Estate on Federal Street as a broker.

Town Council President Mark Wisnewski said the council will advertise the position. He said Assistant Town Clerk Deborah Tuttle, who has worked in the town clerk’s office for 23 years, will act as town clerk until someone is hired.

Wisnewski said he expects the entire process will take a month to a month and a half, which means the town should have a permanent town clerk by March.

He said Tuttle will be considered for the position, but said the council feels it’s only fair to have a transparent hiring process that allows people from outside the office to apply.

According to the town charter, the council hires the town clerk, who not only works for the town, but for the council.

Wisnewski said he and other councilors were surprised to find that the town has no formal hiring process for the town clerk position.

“We could pick anyone without any type of process,” he said. “We felt that wasn’t right.”

Wisnewski said the council will review all applications it receives for the position and will conduct interviews before making its decision.

“We’ll do it as quickly as possible,” said Wisnewski. “We want to provide stability in that office.”

Winseck will retire from the position after 25 years. The 62-year-old is a former real estate broker. Prior to becoming town clerk in 1988, she worked as a real estate broker in her family’s business, the former Merrigan Real Estate.

She plans to leave the position on Jan. 24.

Tuttle and two-part time employees have worked for years with Winseck to conduct local, state, federal and special elections.

The town clerk also works with the council by keeping its minutes, posting its meetings, and helping guide members through different processes, as well as attending all full council meetings and some subcommittee meetings.

Winseck said council responsibilities have increased over the years as councilors have become more active in their roles.

Winseck will leave her position making $68,100 a year. Tuttle currently makes $52,607 a year.

Tuttle began working in the clerk’s office in 1990.

Winseck said Tuttle is “very familiar” with the legislative branch of government in Greenfield, as well as everything the office does.

Tuttle has worked in every area of the town’s clerk’s office, including secretary to the Town Council, administrative assistant to the town clerk, and assistant town clerk, which she became in 1999.

Town clerk duties also include keeping town records, vital statistics, including birth and death certificates, issuing licenses, including dog, hunting and fishing and marriage, and registering voters. The clerk is also responsible for conducting the local census.

According to Dennis Helmus, the town’s human resources director, the town clerk position will be advertised with a pay range of $54,775 to $62,541. He said it is a non-union position. He said Winseck was “grandfathered” when she was elected to the position, so she makes more than the current range allows.

Helmus said if the council hires Tuttle as town clerk, her position as assistant town clerk would then have to be filled.

He said the mayor would appoint someone to that position, which is unionized. He said the pay range for assistant town clerk is $40,147 to $48,915. He said Tuttle was also “grandfathered” when she took the position.

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