May 12, 2021, Submitted by Thomas F. Patch, Candidate for Hingham Town Clerk
To Hingham voters and all others the Hingham Town Clerk serves:
I am a candidate for election as the next Hingham Town Clerk in the May 22nd Town Election.
What does the Hingham Town Clerk do? The gist of Town’s job description provides it is an elected position performing complex administrative, supervisory, and professional work as Hingham’s Chief Elections Officer and Legislative/Chief Public Information/Public Records/Licenses/Census/Voter Registration Administrator, as well as in directing and coordinating activities of Town Clerk’s Department.
Why am I asking Hingham voters for their vote for the job?
Simply, although it is an elected position, those whom the Town Clerk serves deserve the next Town Clerk be the person actually possessing the qualifications of the necessary pertinent skill set, knowledge and experience to achieve the successfully seamless transition in the position from day one needed because of Town Clerk McCracken's well-earned and deserved retirement after 24 years on the job. I am confident that I am that person among the four candidates.
I am fortunate to be a born and raised Hinghamite with deep family roots in Hingham starting with my Irish immigrant great, great grandparents who came to Hingham in the mid-1800s and started a farm. My father, Fletcher Patch, after his WW II Navy service worked his way up to become Hingham Fire Chief.
This has instilled in me a deep appreciation, and a strong commitment to continue the values and work, of those who have come before us that has made Hingham the terrific welcoming community in which we all have chosen to live or work. It has also taught me the 7 necessary words and mindset for a Town employee, official, or volunteer to successfully interact with the public: Hi, how can I help you today?
Although the only legal requirement to be Town Clerk is to be a Hingham resident, the Town’s job description sets out recommended qualifications. I meet these qualifications because of my:
- Town Clerk’s office volunteer worker experience under Town Clerk McCracken’s supervision, giving me the critical “behind the counter” experience of how Town Clerk McCracken performs the position and operates the office
- elections experience where for several years I served as a Hingham elections official under Town Clerk McCracken’s supervision, successfully wore many hats and performed a variety of tasks, and consequently acquired substantial actual experience in the practical side of elections that supplements my legal expertise in elections law
- legal expertise as an attorney with a practice focus on municipal law, including my provision of Town Counsel services to the Town of Kingston, MA
- extensive knowledge base of town clerk duties and responsibilities, as well as their performance, acquired through my law practice interaction with many town and city clerks across Massachusetts
- managerial, budgeting and personnel experience as managing partner of a law firm
- educational background of a product of Hingham Public Schools, K-12, and earning a double bachelor’s degree in economics and political science with a focus on public administration as well as a juris doctor (aka law) degree
I cannot stress enough Town Clerk is a consequential job within Hingham Town government with a multitude of legal duties and responsibilities that present a steep and perilous learning curve for a person without the actual necessary pertinent skill set, knowledge and experience starting right at the point in time of election. This is made clear in the Town's job description, which provides "[e]rrors can result in a monetary loss and legal repercussions".
Those whom the Town Clerk serves and Town Clerk McCracken deserve the Town Clerk position be filled by the most capable hands.
This means the election of the next Town Clerk is not about a figurehead, political prize, person painting appearances or congeniality contest but instead is about selecting the person actually most qualified for the job.
I am confident that of the four candidates I am that person. I would not be seeking the position if I were not; rather, I would be supporting and voting for the person who is.
Please visit my campaign Facebook page Vote Tom Patch for more detailed information that may assist you in casting your ballot.
Thank you for your time in reading this announcement, and I respectfully ask for your vote as the next Hingham Town Clerk in the May 22nd Town election.