Rindge Town Clerk Nancy Martin plans to retire in Sept.

  • Rindge Town Clerk Nancy Martin plans to retire in September. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Rindge Town Clerk Nancy Martin is retiring, Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Rindge Town Clerk Nancy Martin is retiring, Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 7/17/2019 9:10:26 PM

Rindge Town Clerk Nancy Martin plans to retire this September.

Martin said Tuesday that the state investigation into the 2018 elections was a contributing factor to her retiring before her term is up.

She was first elected in 2002, after three years of service as the deputy town clerk. She’s been reelected every three years since and has run unopposed in all six elections. Town clerks are tasked with issuing licenses and permits (like motor vehicle permits, marriage licenses, dog licenses) and administering local and federal elections.

“This has been my dream job,” Martin said. “Every time I turn around there’s something new to learn.”

She plans to leave her position this September, six months before the end of her elected term, which ends in March 2020.

Selectwoman Roberta Oeser said she is already mourning Martin’s upcoming retirement.

“My heart is broken… Nancy has been awesome. The way she’s run elections, the way she deals with people. … She’s going to be really hard to replace,” Oeser said. “Everybody was begging her to stay. … People really liked her.”

One aspect of the job Martin will not miss is administering elections. Town clerks oversee the polls on election days, train election volunteers, and oversee the ballot distribution process. Martin watched her state-delegated responsibilities grow steadily throughout her tenure. Elections are always tense times on the job, she said, but the voter complaints and subsequent investigation of Rindge’s handling of the March 2018 election soured her outlook and prompted her to retire before the end of her term.

Martin said Selectman Robert Hamilton and his wife Ronelle Hamilton filed complaints about the way she administered the election.

On Tuesday, Hamilton said he did not lodge any complaints about that election and to his knowledge, none of the ten complaints filed about Jaffrey-Rindge area elections that year were about Martin specifically.

Ronelle Hamilton, however, said Tuesday she did file one of those complaints, but not about Martin’s work.

Selectman Hamilton said Tuesday, that Martin will be greatly missed.

“She’s been a great town clerk,” he said. “Nancy has seen to [her duties] very well.”

The complaints prompted an investigation by the District Attorney’s Office, which found that Miller violated two state laws while preparing absentee ballots in advance of the election, but no punishments were levied against her.

Rindge will also lose Joe Byk, their Town Administrator, at the start of August following a July 3 Selectman board vote not to renew his contract.

Selectman Hamilton said he is worried by the recent exodus of talented town employees.

“I’m nervous,” he said, “I’ve played dominoes before.”

Deputy Town Clerk Pat Hildreth will be taking up the position upon Martin’s departure, Martin said.

A new town clerk is to be elected at March Town Meeting.

In order to be eligible, candidates must be residents of Rindge. It is a full-time position with a three-year term, with an annual salary of $47,374 in 2018.

Martin’s plans for retirement? Becoming a snowbird.

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