Amherst hires familiar face as new town clerk

  • Amherst Town Hall

Staff Writer
Thursday, June 07, 2018

AMHERST — A former town clerk, who worked for Amherst for 15 years in a variety of roles before departing in 2003, will return this summer to become the next town clerk.

Margaret Nartowicz, of Deerfield, was hired last week by Town Manager Paul Bockelman to succeed Sandra Burgess, who retires at the end of June after being Amherst’s town clerk since summer 2006.

Nartowicz will begin her tenure Aug. 1. She has been town administrator in Rutland since 2015, following a decadelong tenure as Sunderland’s town administrator. She was recently a finalist for the town clerk position in Greenfield.

“I am thrilled to come back to Amherst, a town I grew in and was nurtured in and serves as town clerk in,” Nartowicz said.

Nartowciz said she appreciates the town’s diverse population and is excited to work with the employee team. She is also interested in assisting with the ongoing transition to the new form of government from Town Meeting and Select Board to Town Council.

“Margaret brings a wealth of experience, both as a town clerk and town administrator, to the town,” Bockelman said.

Bockelman said Nartowicz will face immediate challenges, including several elections and the new charter’s mandate to explore ranked choice, or instant runoff, voting.

Nartowicz began her tenure in Amherst as clerical assistant to the Department of Public Works in 1988 and was an assistant town clerk and acting town clerk before becoming town clerk.

Another new hire announced by Bockelman is Angela Mills, who will be the executive assistant to the town manager. Mills, currently administrative assistant at Crocker Farm School, begins her new job when the school year ends.

Mills will succeed Debra Puppel, assistant to the town manager since January 2011. Puppel retired Thursday.

Puppel’s work has included handling licensing tasks, processing permits, communicating between various departments, keeping the town manager’s schedule and doing much of the preparation work for sessions of Town Meeting.

Bockelman said Mills rose to the top for the search committee based on her work ethic, appreciation of the town’s diversity and ability to speak both English and Spanish.

“She comes very highly recommended,” Bockelman said. “These are two really good hires, really strong people,” he added.

The searches for both positions began after the March 27 vote that approved a change in the town’s charter, which allowed both Bockelman and any applicants to know that there would be a new form of government in place.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.