Thursday March 28, 2013

HINSDALE, N.H. -- The town clerk explained to the Board of Selectmen on Monday how she would like to go about handling her regular duties while juggling the new ones that come with being the newly elected tax collector.

Tammy-Jean Akeley defeated Hinsdale Water Clerk Lynn Powers McLoughlin, 405-192, for the position in a townwide election earlier this month and the selectmen were curious as to how she will handle both jobs.

Chairman Mike Darcy told the Reformer he believes no other town in the state has one person working each of those posts separately. Some towns, however, combine the positions into one job. This is allowed by state law, he said.

Akeley said she proposed that the board permit her to carry out her regular responsibilities in her town clerk's office, located in Hinsdale Town Hall, and allow residents to submit their tax payments and documents there as well. Under her proposal, all paperwork and data entry regarding taxes would be conducted by Deputy Tax Collector Maria Shaw in the tax collector's office, which also is in the town hall.

On Monday, the selectmen accepted Shaw, the former tax collector, as the deputy.

Akeley told the Reformer her proposal would enable Shaw to work undisturbed. She said the selectmen seemed to like the idea and there is more discussion to come.

McLoughlin, who also serves as the board's secretary-receptionist, asked as a member of the public if Akeley would be able to handle both jobs. Akeley said she told McLoughlin she sees no difference between her balancing the two positions and McLoughlin working as both the town water clerk and board secretary-receptionist.

The Reformer could not reach McLoughlin by presstime Wednesday.

Darcy said he simply wanted to know how things will work with the same person serving as town clerk and tax collector.

"We're kind of in a weird spot. ... We don't have a model for how to do it. This is a unique situation," he said, adding that he just wants to secure the town's fiscal security.

Akeley said she decided to run for tax collector at the suggestion of Shaw, who took over for her husband, Richard E. Shaw Sr., after he died on June 21, 2012. The Board of Selectmen named Maria Shaw as interim tax collector following her husband's death. Akeley said she told Shaw she would be happy to serve as tax collector as long as Shaw agreed to help her.

Akeley started serving as town clerk 12 years ago when Jean Savory died on Aug. 30, 2001.

A town clerk is a publicly elected individual who serves as the keeper of birth, marriage and death certificates and is responsible for motor vehicle and canine registrations, among other duties.

Domenic Poli can be reached at dpoli@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoli_reformer.