Oh what a week it has been — you might say it’s been a doozy of a week!
Doozy is one of those words that kind of makes you smile when you say it. You might even tilt your head and have a twinkle in your eye at the same time.
According to the Oxford Dictionary doozy means, “Something outstanding or unique of its kind.” The Merriam-Webster Dictionary describes it as unusually good, bad, big, or severe. Etymologists say that it might be an “altered form of the word daisy which back in the 1800s was used as a slang term for someone or something considered the best.”
Who would have guessed daisy meant anything more than a flower? Another great word, “etymology,” which refers to the study of the origin of words and how their meanings change throughout time. Daisy is a perfect example. It started off as the flower we know but through the years it took on a life of its own.
Well, again, last week was a “doozy." In Londonderry you may have received the message from our amazing assistant town manager Lisa Drabik. Lisa noticed that our town clerk’s office, like so many across our great state, might need a little extra TLC and patience from the residents we love. Lisa sent a message out across social media and even posted signs around our Town Hall.
Basically the message was the waiting time might be longer than normal, and we are so sorry for the delay. Many of our offices are short staffed for so many reasons. Some clerks and their assistant clerks have just moved on to other things; for some the constant scrutiny and “I gotcha” conspiracist have won. It can be scary and today you just don’t know how far some of these people will go.
A few months back I told you about a group coming in to our town halls with cameras and taking videos on their cell phones unannounced. Remember this is happening all across our state not just here. They love the surprise effect and they are really hoping to unnerve these hard-working people enough that they will slip up so it will make for great live streaming. Then they have a big win. I will never believe that is what our forefathers had in mind when they penned our First Amendment rights of freedom of speech.
Recently, in many offices across our state, citizens working for certain causes were sent in to request voter information from our 2020 General Election. Remember we all have the right to ask for election information, but it’s better to put it in writing, that way everyone is on the same page. An email that is clear and to the point can make things much easier for everyone. What you think you are “asking” for might be entirely different from what the town clerk and their office can provide.
We also have to remember that there are laws that govern all of this. To give you an example, up until two years ago we could provide much more general information to the public than we can now. It’s for your and our safety. Interestingly, if a candidate who is running for office makes a request during the time of the election, he or she can request that information in forms that are different than the general public.
Political parties can request full copies of the voter checklist, but they will pay approximately $8,000 dollars because they will be receiving the information for the entire state. That’s very exciting really.
Overall, the thing to remember is that if you need more clarification, you can always reach out directly to our secretary of state’s office at 603-271-3242. Even better, you can reach out to our Secretary of State’s Archives Division at (603) 271-2236. This is where all of our election voter checklist information is kept for the entire state. We are an amazing state with amazing people at each level ready, willing and able to help.
It really was a “doozy” of a week, but many great things happened, too!
To end our story together on a positive note, and law-related, too, please help us to spread the word about licensing your puppies. In most offices, you still have time before the huge civil forfeiture fines start. It’s the law.
Just this week of many doozy situations, I took a call and it was a lovely woman, Pauline, calling to say that she had just found a little puppy in her neighborhood. Within 10 minutes or less because the puppy had been registered, I was able to reunite the puppy with its grateful owner. Pauline gave me the ID tag number, I looked it up in seconds and we had the owner’s name and contact information.
As it turned out the puppy had made its way through the woods and into a completely different area. The puppy was returned safely because of our state laws around registering our dogs and the right information being out there and followed.
Sherry Farrell is Londonderry Town Clerk and a longtime resident of New Hampshire.