Immediate Release July 23, 2004
Contact: David Chauvin (516) 869-7794
North Hempstead Residents to Vote on Term of Office for Town Clerk
Manhasset, NY- Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Councilman Angelo Ferrara announced a unanimous decision on Tuesday, July 20th by the Town Board to adopt a local law approving a referendum, to be held at the general election on November 2nd, to extend the length of the Town Clerk's term of office from two to four years. The resolution, which garnered bipartisan support, was first introduced by Republican Councilman Angelo Ferrara. At the public hearing, a number of residents, including former Town Clerk Deena Lesser, came to speak in favor of the resolution. If approved by residents, the resolution will take effect with the term commencing January 1, 2006. Similar laws have already been passed in eight of the thirteen Townships on Long Island.
"This is a historic vote that will help make the government more efficient for the people it serves." said Town Clerk Michelle Schimel. "A four year term will promote a more stable and effective Town Clerk's Office with a knowledgeable administrator at the helm who can accomplish long term technology planning and records management programming that is now required of a modern Town Clerk's Office.
Councilman Ferrara added, "This change is a long overdue improvement in the governance of our town. The varied and heavy responsibilities as well as the time it takes to become accustomed to such a job makes two years far too short a time for the Town Clerk's term of office. Extending the term of office reflects the reality that the position of Town Clerk is administrative rather than a political job. The Clerk will now be able to worry less about politics and concentrate on the most important task: helping the community."
"The Board passed this resolution in bipartisan fashion for the good of the Town and in the intent of ensuring continuity in our Town Clerks office," said Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman. "This law will give the residents of this Town a Clerk with enough time and experience in office to see through important improvements, provide superior service to those who need it and ensure that someone is accountable for important long-term records management projects. Performing the duties of a Town Clerk has become an ever-more complicated technical and time-consuming task."
The Town Clerk is responsible for maintaining all of the Town's vital statistics (birth, death and marriage certificates) and filing of Town documents. The Town Clerk also has the responsibility of recording the minutes of Town Board meetings and public hearings as well as preparing the Town Board Calendar. The office issues licenses and permits, including marriage, taxi, dog, fishing and more. New York State has recently added a new charge, making the Town Clerk a Records Management Officer, overseeing the records managing policy for the town.
The Town has embarked on an extensive project in the area of improving record keeping. A Records Center now houses 3,200 cubic feet of records. An effort is underway to microfilm the entire archive of Town Records. Microfilm holdings are now stored offsite in a secure location, preserving much of North Hempstead's history in the process. The Town Code has also been placed on the web at www.northhempsteadny.gov and it is now possible to download dog license applications on the Town Clerk link to the website.