Oak Bluffs town clerk retires, assistant appointed

— File photo by Mae Deary

Oak Bluffs selectmen accepted the resignation of town clerk Deborah Ratcliff, and they appointed assistant town clerk Laura Johnston as acting town clerk, at their Tuesday meeting.

Ms. Ratcliff’s resignation is effective June 30. She has worked for the town since 1987 and was first elected town clerk in 1998. Ms. Ratcliff’s current term ends in April of 2014.

“It’s time for me to retire,” Ms. Ratcliff said in a phone interview before the meeting. “Summer is a quiet time in the clerk’s office. I’ve enjoyed it. This is a great position. I love working with the people. Really, it’s time for me to move on and relax.”

Ms. Ratcliff said she has thought about retiring for some time, and after completing two spring elections, she decided the time was right.

“I had hoped to complete the final year of my three-year term as town clerk, but feel compelled, for purely personal reasons, to resign effective June 30, 2013,” Ms. Ratcliff wrote the selectmen of her decision on May 17. “It has been an honor to serve my town since being first elected to this position in 1998.”

The board of selectmen thanked Ms. Ratcliff for her long service.

“Thank you for all your years of dedicated service,” selectman Gail Barmakian said. “You made that office a pleasant and efficient place.”

“You’re not moving very far, are you” chairman Walter Vail asked.

“Just down the road,” Ms. Ratcliff said. “At the beach.”

The town clerk oversees town elections and voter registration. The office is responsible for recording the town’s vital statistics and issues a wide range of documents, including birth certificates, marriage licences, and death certificates. The current salary for the position is $75,774.