Anita S. Tekle
Patricia Clifford was promoted to Assistant Town Clerk in August, after having served in the position in an Acting capacity since May. Kathleen Araujo joined us in November as Senior Department Clerk. Former Assistant Town Clerk Joanna Silva took five months off during the year, returning on a part-time basis as Office Assistant in late September. The achievements of the department during 2006 were in large part due to the effort and commitment of these individuals, which is noted and appreciated.
The presence of Emerson Hospital in the community results in a high number of birth recordings in Concord. The number of births, deaths and marriages recorded in Concord was fairly stable in 2006, with a slight increase in births and a slight decrease in deaths. The Office had a brisk business of certified copies of births, deaths and marriages, with 7,156 issued, generating revenue of $72,638, which represents 55% of department revenue. In addition, the staff processed 22 Affidavit and Correction of Vital Records, and issued 406 burial permits.
Census activities are reported elsewhere in this report under the Board of Registrars.
The Town Clerk's Office continues to serve as a licensing agent for the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, issuing 458 fishing, hunting, and sporting licenses and stamps. The Town receives a small fee for providing this service, generating $279 in revenue to the Town.
1,783 dogs were licensed during the year, down slightly from the 2003 high of 1,877. The computerization of dog licensing and rabies vaccination information continues to make for a more efficient and streamlined process. The cooperation and assistance of area veterinarians in this effort is appreciated. Income of $28,525 was received by the Town for dog licenses and late fees. Staff participated in the Rabies Vaccination Clinic sponsored by the Board of Health in March.
Voter registration and election activity is reported elsewhere in this Report under the Board of Registrars.
The Town Clerk and staff attended and recorded the proceedings of the Annual Town Meeting that took place on five sessions in the spring. We offered a daily update on the previous evening's session on the Town's web site, which proved very popular with residents. An excerpted copy of the proceedings is included elsewhere in this Report.
The Department issued 118 Business Certificates during the year.
Since 1999, the Town Clerk's Office has served as a Passport Acceptance Agency for the U.S. State Department, and all staff have been trained and certified in this important function. During 2006, the Office processed 345 passport applications, generating $10,140 in revenue for the Town. This activity increased during the latter part of 2006, as new federal requirements for border crossings are gradually implemented. U.S. Passports are now required for all air travel to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda as of January 23, 2007. The requirement will extend to all sea and land border crossings effective January 1, 2008. Children, including infants, are required to have their own passport when traveling with parents. Residents planning any travel are urged to obtain a passport well in advance of departure (minimum of six weeks), to avoid paying additional processing fees. For more information, check the Town Clerk's web site or call the Clerk's Office.
The Bylaw Recodification Committee, on which the Town Clerk served, concluded its work in early 2006. The efforts culminated in a revised draft "Charter, Bylaws, Standing Votes, Rules & Regulations" document in March 2006. Several housekeeping recommendations made by the Committee were successfully brought to Town Meeting in April. The final document will be completed in 2007 and will be available both on the Town's web site, and for sale at the Town Clerk's Office.
During the year, the staff swore in new committee and board appointees and posted 963 public meetings. Meeting postings are available on the bulletin board in the Town House lobby, and for view on the Town's web site. During the course of the year, the Office provided information to staff, boards and committees, and citizens on the issues of the Open Meeting, Public Records, Conflict of Interest, and Campaign & Political Finance Laws. Several inquiries were referred to the appropriate State authorities for formal determinations and rulings.
Department staff prepared and recorded over 52 new cemetery deeds during the year, and continued to maintain the cemetery deed, burial permit, and lot records. Fifteen raffle permits were issued to community non-profit organizations. Staff notarized numerous documents as a public service to our customers. We continued to receive and process routine genealogical requests, referring the more complex ones to the Library Archivist.
During 2006, the Town Clerk's Office turned over $124,351 in general revenue to the Town (up 21% over 2005), with gross receipts at $133,195. Contact our office if you have questions (978-318-3080). Visit the Town's web site, or contact us via email at TownClerk@concordnet.org.