Town Clerks.. Your “BFF”

I could never be a town clerk. They have the patience of saints because they have to deal with people like me. I call town clerks a minute after the town hall opens. I call them with 10 minutes left in their day. Yes, I’m that guy.

Town clerks have all the information you will ever need. They know what’s happening where and when. They know where to find the 12-year-old consent order on the town’s website. They just know.

To put it simply, they are your best friend. Just 10 minutes ago, I called for an agenda for a board of finance meeting in one of my towns. It was faxed over in less than six minutes.

This post rubs shoulders with this post, where I advised that, when you do cover a town, you should really get to know your town. I really feel like that is sound advice.

Some town websites aren’t as internet friendly as you would like. You have to deal with it. For one of my towns, through no fault of their own, meetings aren’t posted on-line. I have to call each Wednesday/Thursday to get the meetings for the next week. For a different town, all of the meetings are consistently online with minutes and agendas ready to be downloaded. You have to work with what you have. It’s how the journo business works.

It’s not that town clerks know most, if not all, of what is going on in each town, it’s that they can point you in the right direction if you are “stuck” on something. They know who the “expert” is on every little thing. It’s quite amazing.

One thing to remember is that town clerks are very busy. Not your average busy, either. They, essentially, work for the entire town and its residents. Remember that.

I don’t have to say that you should call them often because you’ll be calling them more than you may think. Soon, you’ll remember their numbers and extensions, too.

Jonathan

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One Response to Town Clerks.. Your “BFF”

  1. Pingback: The WhitePages « Just Starting Out

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