My, how things have changed!
During a conversation about the Town’s new financial software and the features it offers, discussion began about how things have changed at the Town Office over the last 14 years. I was the Deputy Town Clerk then, and we were using IBM typewriters to process registrations, title applications, and dog licenses.
In 2007, I became the Town Clerk and Tax Collector, and as I had promised the Selectmen, I brought that office into the 20th century with computers and a more secure office space. We kept the typewriters in storage for a couple of years, but they eventually left the building.
In 2011, the Selectmen’s Office was utilizing a poorly-designed QuickBooks system, a fax machine, and a copier. Over the years, all of this has been modernized.
The first financial audit that I experienced as Town Administrator had to be suspended because QuickBooks is not capable of processing fund accounting, which is the accounting method used by municipalities. Before the next year’s audit, we were using a fund accounting system.
Job requirements in any business or industry you can think of have changed in the last 14 years. In the Town’s case, there are many more state and federal demands that require constant, detailed attention and execution in all areas. All municipal departments are operating with many more regulations, required continuing education, liability, public expectations, constant changes in technology, and of course, the current short-staffing problems that all towns and businesses are facing.
Just think about the changes in police departments, fire departments, and ambulance services in the last 14 years. Equipment design and costs, educational requirements, liability, and staffing issues are ever-changing and faced nationwide. These types of changes apply to municipal offices as well.
The Select Board’s office is hiring an assistant because, regretfully, Jessica Rand has resigned. We wish Jessica the best and look forward to seeing her around town. That position has been a 30-hour-per-week position for several years. It will now be 30 hours per week doing accounts payable, processing Transfer Station invoices, customer service (questions about assessments, tax maps, and property cards, and providing reports and information), handling the Timber Tax process, and other miscellaneous duties, as has been the case. 10 secretarial hours per week have been added to help the Town Administrator.
Your Town Offices and Town departments are here to serve you. Office hours are on our website at Andover-NH.gov. If you need further information, please contact us at 603 735-5332 or via the contact information found on the website.
We wish everyone happy and safe holidays!