MANCHESTER - A new town clerk has been appointed.

Anita Sheldon, previously the assistant town clerk, was sworn in by the select board at a special meeting Monday night. Linda Spence, the town clerk since 1996, passed away last week.

Wayne Bell, the vice-chairman of the select board said the town is lucky to have Sheldon. While chairman Ivan Beattie and member Carol Lattuga were not present at the special meeting, they both expressed their support of Sheldon's appointment.

This is a difficult time for the office of town clerk, the town and herself, Sheldon said. "I'm privileged to carry on Linda's legacy in the office," she said. Currently, Sheldon is working on getting a job description to post a listing for her former position of assistant town clerk.

At left, Anita Sheldon is sworn in as the town’s new appointed town clerk by Wayne Bell, the vice-chairman of the Select Board, during a special

She said she wants to fill the position as soon as possible because she is continuing her clerk education. In July of next year, Sheldon will be taking a week long class and wants to make sure the office is in good hands during her absence. Before she was appointed town clerk, Sheldon was acting town clerk in the week after Spence's passing. John O'Keefe, town manager, said the select board is instructed under state law to appoint someone "forthwith." "The select board has to appoint someone either way," he said.


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Low voter turn out, cost and the short term of the appointment were a few of the reasons O'Keefe said the select board chose not to hold a special town meeting and election. The job was posted, for any interested applicants, but Sheldon was the only one who submitted her name. Her appointed term will last until Town Meeting in 2015, when Spence's term was to expire.

O'Keefe said he and Spence had conversations in the past about the future of the office, and Spence wanted Sheldon to take her place.

"She would have been very supportive of appointing Anita," he said.