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Longtime Willington town clerk honored

By CLAIRE GALVIN

Chronicle Staff Writer

WILLINGTON — Locals wished the town’s former town clerk Donna Hardie farewell this week as she retired after more than 20 years of service to Willington.

Stepping in is Amy Lam, who worked as the assistant town clerk in East Windsor.

Hardie worked her last day in the Willington town office building Monday and townspeople were invited to say goodbye to Hardie in an open house celebration.

“I don’t have any specific plans for retirement, I’m just ready to do what I want to do,” Hardie said. “But, I have a daughter in New York and a son in Vermont. I’ll be busy visiting the two.”

Hardie began as assistant town clerk in 1996 for four years, so in total she has worked just shy of 22 years for Willington.

“I enjoyed it,” Hardie said. “I loved the work and the people. That’s what I’ll miss, the townspeople and the employees.”

Hardie said the town has accomplished a lot with preservation.

“We’re in very good shape as far as most of our documents are preserved and I think that’s important,” Hardie said. “That was one of my biggest concerns.”

Office manager Robin Campbell said Hardie was the go-to person around the office for information.

“She’s a staple here,” Campbell said. “It’s sad to see her go. She knows everything in this office.”

Before working as clerk, she worked in the finance department of Pratt & Whitney for 26 years.

Lam is Willington’s first appointed town clerk.

In March 2016, townspeople approved changing from an elected clerk to an appointed clerk.

Now, the board of selectmen selects the clerk through a hiring process instead of the townspeople approving a town clerk during an election.

Hardie was elected in 2002 and ran uncontested through 2014.

“I’m not a politician, so I don’t like the politics of it,” Hardie said.

Hardie said she did not think the new process for appointing a town clerk would make a difference.

“I don’t think there’s going to be much change, except for the political parties being less involved with the appointed as they were with the elected,” Hardie said.

Lam agreed and said a town clerk will do their job to the best of their ability, no matter what.

“Although she’s young, she’s old-school,” Hardie said of Lam. “She’s a good fit for the town.”

Lam said training with Hardie has been a great experience.

“Although I’ve only known her for a few weeks, she is a wonderful person,” Lam said. “She is going to be missed. I wish her all the best in retirement.”

Lam, who lives in Stafford, said she was interested in the part-time position because, as a young mother, she wants to spend more time with her family.

Lam said she is excited to work in a small town like Willington.

“I’m excited to meet the people of Willington,” Lam said. “Everyone knows each other.”

 

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