December 16, 2020 by Carol Britton Meyer
For those wishing to run for a town office in the May 1 election, nomination papers will be available in the Town Clerk's office starting Jan. 2.
Among those with terms expiring in 2021 is Town Clerk Eileen McCracken, who has served in that position for 23 years following her election in 1997. She told the Hingham Anchor that she will retire at the end of her current term.
McCracken explained that the reason she is not running for another three-year term "is not because of the challenging election year we have just had," as has been the case with some town clerks in other communities.
"I just think it is time for me to move along and give someone else the opportunity to serve in this great position," McCracken said. "When I decided to run for this office [many years ago], I knew a little about the position and thought I would be up to the challenge."
Over the years, McCracken has learned a great deal about the town and herself. "I’ve enjoyed working with the people of Hingham, welcoming new residents, assisting with marriage licenses, birth certificates, and sadly, death certificates," she said. "There are many facets of the Town Clerk’s Office, which is what makes the job so interesting. Never a dull moment!"
The part of the job McCracken has enjoyed the most is the people she has worked with over the years, including election workers and her new assistant, Heather Johnson.
"There are two people who have been with me almost since the beginning, and I really don’t know what I would have done without them," McCracken said. "Liz MacVarish and Jinny Ryan have been part of the soul of the office -- always there for me. I’ll miss them the most!"
Prior to serving as Town Clerk, McCracken worked in the Treasurer Collector's office for 10 years.
Back to the subject of nomination papers, if Town Hall is open to the public, citizens may stop by the Town Clerk’s office to pick up or return nomination papers. The office is open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
If Town Hall is closed, citizens may call the office to make an appointment -- (781) 741-1410. "We will prepare their papers for them to sign and pick up," McCracken said.
Fifty certified signatures of voters registered in the Town of Hingham are required for a nomination to be valid. Candidates are advised to obtain additional signatures (the Secretary of State’s office recommends 70 signatures). Nomination papers will be available through March 2 and are due back to the Town Clerk’s Office on Thursday, March 4, by 5 p.m.
Elected town officials with terms expiring in 2021 are:
Michael J. Puzo -- Moderator, One Year
Mary M. Power -- Board of Selectmen, Three Years
Eileen A. McCracken -- Town Clerk, Three Years
Carlton M. Chambers -- Board of Assessors, Three Years
Peter B. Bickford -- Board of Health, Three Years
John A. Stoddard, Jr. -- Municipal Light Board, Three Year
Elizabeth Emerson Lewiecki -- School Committee, Three Years
Kerry J. Ni -- School Committee, Three Years
Gary S. Tondorf-Dick -- Planning Board, Five Years
Robert M. Higgins -- Sewer Commission, Three Years
(Appointment by State) -- Housing Authority, Five Years
Bruce Thompson -- Recreation Commission, Five Years