Deerfield promotes assistant town clerk to full-time role
|Published: 12-03-2023 2:17 PM
DEERFIELD — After putting out a search for a town clerk earlier this year, it turns out the Selectboard’s preferred candidate was in Town Hall all along.
After nearly a year of service to the community, the board appointed Assistant Town Clerk Kathlene “Cassie” Sanderell as Deerfield’s full-time town clerk last week.
Sanderell, a Northampton resident, joined the community as assistant town clerk in January and found herself truly enjoying the numerous responsibilities of the job, especially keeping town records, as she has a “healthy love of all things archives.”
“I come from a family of civil servants and I’m very proud and excited,” Sanderell said, adding that she has “a background in serving the community” after spending time working at the Northampton Senior Center and the Craig’s Doors shelter in Amherst.
Deerfield began looking for a full-time town clerk candidate in the early spring, but made no hires throughout that time. The move came after the 2022 split of the community’s town clerk/treasurer/collector position, which had been conjoined for decades by a legislative special act. Prior to the split, Deerfield was one of only two towns in the state to have the three-fold position, with Southwick being the other.
At last week’s Selectboard meeting, Chair Carolyn Shores Ness and member Trevor McDaniel praised and thanked Sanderell for the work she’s done over the course of the year before voting to appoint her to the role.
“I’m really excited to have this happen and I can’t thank her enough for her work as assistant town clerk,” McDaniel said.
“It’s her people skills; she’s wonderful,” Shores Ness added. “We want to say, ‘Thank you,’ and we’re really excited to have her on board.”
Sanderell is a recent graduate of Mount Holyoke College’s English program and said the record keeping aspect of the job drew her in, but she found herself enjoying all parts of the position, even if there was a bit of a learning curve. Her coworkers at Town Hall, though, helped ease those challenges.
“The scope of the job, I’ll admit, was greater than I anticipated, but I like the challenge and I love the team here,” she said. “The group of municipal employees here are amazing and supportive of each other. I feel like I won the lottery with my coworkers.”
With four elections coming up — two primaries, the annual town election and the presidential election — the scope of work will certainly expand in 2024. Sanderell has some experience, though, as she ran this year’s annual election and will be operating a special election next week.
Additionally, she has training with the Massachusetts Town Clerks Association, which will “dive into the presidential primary,” while also connecting her with other clerks around the state.
“The local clerks are an amazing group of mentors,” she said. “They all want to support new clerks and help us all succeed.”
Chris Larabee can be reached at email@example.com or 413-930-4081.