The Town Clerk's responsibilities include recording and preserving the Town’s vital and permanent records in accordance with the Commonwealth statutes, providing quality public service and accessibility to public records and ensuring compliance with state mandated licensing and filing.
The Town Clerk conducts the annual town census, prepares the street list of residents and school list. The clerk furnishes the jury list to the Office of Jury Commissioner.
The Town Clerk serves on the local Board of Registrars and is responsible for the below listed election functions/duties:
- Overseeing elections, preparing ballots, absentee balloting and voter registration.
- Recording all actions of at the annual and the special town meetings, special voting sessions before every election and town meeting.
- Employing sufficient poll workers for the orderly conduct of an election and the polls.
- Preparing and reporting official election records and results to the Secretary of State of the Commonwealth.
- Certifying nomination papers.
State law requires all dogs in the Commonwealth over six months of age to be licensed annually. The 2018 calendar year licensing deadline is April 30th. State law requires a higher license fee for dogs that are not spayed or neutered (intact). In Ashfield, the fee is $5.00 for a spayed or neutered dog and $10 for an intact dog. In order to obtain the discounted rate, veterinarian's verification that dogs have been neutered or spayed is required. Proof of current rabies is also required for all dogs. Failure to license a dog by April 20th will result in penalties.
Residents can order and pay for a dog license online, by mail, or in person. The Town Clerk's Office accepts online payments from your checking account or credit card (Discover, American Express, MasterCard, or Visa). Click here if you would like to order and pay for your dog license online.
Per Massachusetts General Law, each municipality is required to confirm the identity of every person residing in Town at the beginning of each year. This information is gathered through the annual street list which is mailed to each household around January 1st. Information pertaining to children sixteen and younger is protected by law and held in confidence. The data gathered is used to create the annual street list, to assist public safety and emergency responders, to project future school enrollment, and to assist in calculating state and federal aid.
Anyone who does not receive a census form, or moves into town after January, should contact the Town Clerk's Office at 413-628-4441 x 5, or click here to download a blank form.
The Federal Census is a decennial census and while the main function is to provide counts of people for Congressional apportionment, it is also used to measure the changing social and economic characteristics of the United States. The next Federal Census will be conducted in 2020. For more information regarding the Federal Census click here.
Failure to return the census could lead to the state losing a representative in Congress, as well as federal funding.
For elections information click here.
For information on upcoming and past town meetings click here.
Registrar of Vital Statistics
Records and preserves original birth, marriage, and death records, and provides this information to the Commonwealth for the central vital registration system.
Public Records Officer
- Administers the oath of office to all elected and appointed members of local committees and boards and ensures that all elected and appointed officials are informed of the State’s Open Meeting Law and Conflict of Interest Laws. All elected and appointed officials are sworn to the faithful performance of their duties by the Town Clerk.
- Posts meeting notices of all government bodies.
- Provides access to public records in compliance with State Public Records Law.
- Provides certified copies of vital records and assists in genealogical research for members of the public, and is responsible for maintenance, disposition, and preservation of municipal archival records and materials.
- Submits bylaws and zoning bylaw amendments to the Attorney General for approval.
- Issues state licenses and permits including marriage licenses, county or local licenses, permits and certifications as mandated by statute or bylaw, includes burial permits, business certificates and dog licenses.
- Certification of any document or action recorded and filed in the Town Clerk's Office is the responsibility of the Town Clerk.