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Clinton Town Clerk Sharon Uricchio compares her office to a pawn shop: “You never know what’s going to walk in the door.” (Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
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Anyone who has ever needed access to any licenses or documents in town has probably run into Sharon Uricchio, Clinton’s town clerk.
Sharon became the assistant town clerk in 2002 and then the head clerk in 2014. From keeping track to all the permanent records in town to helping tally election results, Sharon is always busy.
“We have a saying in the office: ‘Another day in paradise,’” she says.
A sign that bears that saying sits on a shelf in the office not far from Sharon’s desk.
“I tell this to everyone: It’s kind of like a pawn shop, you never know what’s going to walk in the door,” she adds.
Sharon says that for her, working as a town clerk was a natural fit.
“I’ve always been interested in town government and how things work,” she says.
Sharon, a self-described people person, enjoys talking to people and said she that her 12 years as an assistant clerk gave her time to learn how to better sympathize and empathize with the stresses that people may be going through when they come into her office.
“People come in with a problem and we see if we can solve it for them,” says Sharon.
For example, some people may need to come to the office to receive a death certificate. Sharon says she’ll try and talk with the person as they complete that difficult task to see how they’re doing.
“Some people just want to be heard,” Sharon says.
With the upcoming November municipal elections, Sharon will be extra busy. Sharon will be tasked with submitting all of the relevant information to the state’s election management system, setting up and ordering the ballots, as well as verifying the signatures on any petitions that come into the office.
Adding to the normal drama of election season is the switch in government that Clinton will undergo. In 2018 the town voted overwhelmingly to change from the current Board of Selectmen (BOS) style to a town manager style. With a town manager form of government, there will no longer be a BOS. Instead, the town is in the process of hiring a professional town manager who will run take on many of the duties currently handled by the first selectman. That town manager will be answerable to a newly formed, seven-member town council, which will be elected for the first time in the 2019 municipal elections that are only three months away.
“It will be very interesting for sure,” Sharon sums up.
Sharon says that issuing the death certificates is the hardest part of her job, particularly in the case of an individual having their spouse pass away.
“You really sympathize with them. You just want to give them a big hug,” she says.
However, Sharon also is the person who gets to help couples move one step closer to happily ever after.
“The best part of my job is issuing marriage licenses,” she says, with this tongue-in-cheek follow-up: “And you gotta love the paperwork”
Sharon grew up in Enfield and now lives in Deep River. Prior to working in Clinton, Sharon worked for a time in Essex, which helped cultivate her interest in town governance.
“I started working in Essex Town Hall in 2000 and found it interesting how all the boards intertwined,” says Sharon.
In the nearly two decades that have passed since she first began working in the Clinton Town Clerk’s Office, Sharon says that while the role of a town clerk hasn’t changed, the technology for sure has. As the equipment and the laws are changed by the state, Sharon says the clerk’s offices changes with them.
As for life outside of the town hall, Sharon can often be found outdoors.
Sharon married her husband Arthur in 2005 “and we live happily ever after on our farm,” she notes.
As for particular activities, Sharon enjoys fishing and spending time in her large garden—”I spend a lot of time in that garden.”
Sharon grows cucumbers, pickles, corn, zucchini raspberries and blue berries and more in her garden. She also enjoys sewing and spending time with her chickens, dogs, and cats on the farm.
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