Multi-tasking? It’s part of the job
SHARON — Sharon is a hospital town, which means the town clerk and her staff have more documents to file than those in other area towns. For Sharon’s town clerk, Linda Amerighi, though, it’s all good. “I’m never bored. I’m always learning something new.”“The Connecticut Town Clerks Association once listed more than 300 different jobs town clerks are responsible for,” she told The Lakeville Journal.During a one-hour interview with Amerighi in the town clerk’s office, it seemed 300 may be a low number.“We maintain the accuracy of their land records, their property,” Amerighi said, ticking off some of the services the clerk provides to town residents. “We are responsible for making sure that when documents come in they are recorded and indexed properly; this includes mortgages, refinancing, estates, liens and payments of liens. That aspect of the job is enormous in itself. Property and homes represent peoples’ livelihoods.“Real-property-related work takes up the largest percentage of what is required from this office because it encompasses so many different aspects. We also have to make that information available to title searchers and banks.”Amerighi has been the Sharon town clerk since Aug. 10, 1989. “I love my job,” she said. “It’s important in any job that you are constantly challenging your mental awareness and capabilities in being able to do what is required of you, and this job certainly does that.“Helping the public is important to me,” she said. “That’s why I am here. After 23 years, I still love my job.”To help her serve the public, she has two part-time assistants: Marie France-Corsini and Nancy Wadman.A lifelong and avid dog lover, Amerighi said she is passionate about dog licenses. “Providing dog licenses to residents is a small part of the office work, but it is very important for people to license their dogs. People should understand it is not just because the state gets money. It’s because a license is a dog’s way to find its way home. So many times I get calls from people saying, ‘I found a dog. It has a tag. Do you have the number?’ It’s such a quick way home for dogs. If found dogs do not have a tag, they just go to the pound.”Revenue from dog licenses goes into the state’s spay/neuter program, which helps people who cannot afford those procedures for their pets. The town clerk is also responsible for selling hunting and fishing licenses. Two years ago the state mandated use of a new computer system for sale of the licenses. When the first new computer was installed and didn’t work, the vendor provided a new one. To Amerighi’s frustration, the second one also failed.At that point, the “take charge” town clerk took matters into her own hands. She sent the second computer back to the vendor. And she began to advise license-seekers to do it themselves online. Anyone who has a state conservation number (meaning they previously had one of the licenses) can get the renewal at the town clerk’s office; the $1 fee goes to the town.Those are some of the tasks that bring the general public into contact with the town clerk. Some of her other jobs?“Election information; birth and death certificate information; marriage license information and marriage certificate information; how to find a notary public; how to become a justice of the peace; map information; property transfer information is available to the public including information on how much homes and property have sold for; zoning and other town regulations; inland wetlands regulations; subdivision regulations and subdivision and zoning maps.”And more. And as if that wasn’t enough to keep her busy, Amerighi also maintains the town’s website at www.sharonct.org. Much of that work gets done at home, on evenings and weekends.“One of the biggest things the town clerk’s office has done for people is increase their access to what we offer on our website. Our goal is to eventually have everything possible about the town on the website.” Town clerks are very busy during the municipal election years. Presidential election years mean even more work. “You have primaries, you have more phone calls, you have more calls for absentee ballots and there are more people requesting overseas presidential ballots,” Amerighi said.