By CLAIRE GALVIN
Chronicle Staff Writer
WILLINGTON â€” Locals wished the townâ€™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.
â€śI donâ€™t have any specific plans for retirement, Iâ€™m just ready to do what I want to do,â€ť Hardie said. â€śBut, I have a daughter in New York and a son in Vermont. Iâ€™ll be busy visiting the two.â€ť
Hardie began as assistant town clerk in 1996 for four years, so in total she has worked just shy of 22 years for Willington.
â€śI enjoyed it,â€ť Hardie said. â€śI loved the work and the people. Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ll miss, the townspeople and the employees.â€ť
Hardie said the town has accomplished a lot with preservation.
â€śWeâ€™re in very good shape as far as most of our documents are preserved and I think thatâ€™s important,â€ť Hardie said. â€śThat was one of my biggest concerns.â€ť
Office manager Robin Campbell said Hardie was the go-to person around the office for information.
â€śSheâ€™s a staple here,â€ť Campbell said. â€śItâ€™s sad to see her go. She knows everything in this office.â€ť
Before working as clerk, she worked in the finance department of Pratt & Whitney for 26 years.
Lam is Willingtonâ€™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.
â€śIâ€™m not a politician, so I donâ€™t like the politics of it,â€ť Hardie said.
Hardie said she did not think the new process for appointing a town clerk would make a difference.
â€śI donâ€™t think thereâ€™s going to be much change, except for the political parties being less involved with the appointed as they were with the elected,â€ť Hardie said.
Lam agreed and said a town clerk will do their job to the best of their ability, no matter what.
â€śAlthough sheâ€™s young, sheâ€™s old-school,â€ť Hardie said of Lam. â€śSheâ€™s a good fit for the town.â€ť
Lam said training with Hardie has been a great experience.
â€śAlthough Iâ€™ve only known her for a few weeks, she is a wonderful person,â€ť Lam said. â€śShe is going to be missed. I wish her all the best in retirement.â€ť
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.
â€śIâ€™m excited to meet the people of Willington,â€ť Lam said. â€śEveryone knows each other.â€ť