New Ipswich town clerk steps down

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/4/2021 4:37:33 PM

After a decade in the clerk’s office, New Ipswich Town Clerk Jessica Olson has stepped down from her position due to health complications.

Olson, in an interview Monday, said for health and financial reasons, she was forced to move from New Ipswich to Rindge. As town clerk is an elected position in New Ipswich, the clerk is required to be a resident of town, and Olson had to resign.

“I thank everyone for the support, friendship and love,” Olson said. “If I could have stayed, I would have. It’s time to rest, heal, and take care of me.”

Olson left the office with little fanfare, announcing on Facebook on the town’s unofficial community page on Dec. 30 that it would be her last day in the office, and saying farewell.

“I waited until the last minute. It’s hard – and it’s hard for them,” she said of the public she serves, many of whom are also friends. “I actually touched a lot of people’s lives. Everyone has been very caring. It made it a little tough. A lot tough.”

Olson began the job as assistant town clerk under Cindy Lussier, and became deputy clerk when she moved to New Ipswich. She officially stepped into the clerk’s position in 2014, when Lussier stepped down due to cancer, and was officially elected to the position and has held it since Lussier’s death. Olson said the job was a huge part of her life.

“That was my baby,” Olson said. “I don’t think I realized how much of a social life I didn’t have out of work. I don’t really go out – I get my socialization at the office.”

Olson had to reduce her office time earlier this year due to her health, and in that time, Debbie Deaton, the town’s land use clerk, has stepped in to fulfill many of the clerk’s duties, functioning as deputy clerk. The timing of Olson’s resignation allows for the clerk’s position to be placed upon the 2021 election ballot, and Olson said she is supporting Deaton for the permanent position.

“She knows the job. And when I was out, she jumped into the hot seat,” Olson said. “I think she’ll do really well, and I wouldn’t hesitate to back her.”

After several months of the clerk’s office only being open sporadically while Olson was out of the office, the town is now back to its regular office schedule with assistance from Deaton and newly hired Assistant Town Clerk Margie Whitson.


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