By Julie Huss
---- — LONDONDERRY — Officials are considering making changes to the way the town clerk/tax collector does the job.
That might mean separating the two positions.
Right now, the job is combined, elected by voters at the polls.
Town councilors previously set goals to find ways to streamline that office and try to save the town some money.
“One of our goals last year was to look for savings,” police Chief and former acting Town Manager Bill Hart said last week.
Many towns have an elected town clerk position, Hart said, separate from the tax collector’s job that is often appointed by a town government.
In other communities, the jobs are combined, as they are in Londonderry.
The town’s longtime tax collector/town clerk Meg Seymour stepped down from the job earlier this year.
Susan Hickey, also the town’s director of finance, was named interim town clerk/tax collector.
Hickey has worked for town since 2001. Her appointment came along with other changes made to the town clerk’s office, including 15 minutes less time for the clerk’s office to be open to the public, beginning next month.
Councilor Joe Green said limiting hours, in his mind, would only cause more stress to residents hoping to get their town business done.
“To limit hours would be a negative,” he said.
Hart said that’s part of an effort to try to streamline the work being done, and improve services for residents coming in to do business.
He said the reorganization will also help alleviate extra hours that workers were being paid to get caught up with work after the office closed.
The town will bring in consultants to aid in those reorganization plans. How to handle the town clerk/tax collector job will be up to councilors, Hart said.
“What direction do you want to go?” Hart asked. “We don’t want to lose sight of the fact that customer service is important, especially in that office. (We must) keep that as a foremost there.”