This is how we handle our statewide elections, which are managed by the secretary of the commonwealth. Our state constitution, ratified in 1780 recognizes that the top elections officer should not report to the governor. On a federal level, elections are also managed state-by-state rather than by a centralized, presidentially-appointed elections authority.
We should not vary from this fundamental separation of power at the local level. An appointed town clerk would report to the town manager, who takes direction from the elected board of selectmen. This is a conflict of interest.
Arguments about the electing an incompetent person to the office of town clerk are insulting to the electorate. Arguments about how many other towns have appointed clerks make use of "lemming logic."
Give us credit. We the people who have the responsibility for choosing our town clerk can handle this responsibility.
I ask that someone rise up and offer an amendment to the charter adoption article to delete this change from an elected to an appointed town clerk. I appreciate the work of the charter committee, but this wresting of power from the electorate and awarding it to the town manager is bad policy.
See the May 2013 town meeting warrant, which includes the proposed charter by clicking here.