Andover Town Clerk Linda Bargfrede to retire

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2016 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Andover Town Clerk Linda Bargfrede will retire in June

Andover Town Clerk Linda Bargfrede will retire in June

Andover Town Clerk Linda Bargfrede announced on Monday night that she would be retiring from her post effective June 1.

“You know I have been thinking about this for a while,” Bargfrede told the Andover Select Board.  ­For a number of reasons, I think this is the time.” Board member Jean Peters joked that the board would not accept her retirement and school board member Joe Fromberger reminded Bargfrede of her quip at this year’s town meeting when Ron Theissen suggested there should be term limits on the auditor position for which he was renominated.

“There are term limits for these offices,” Bargfrede told the gathering in February. “That’s death.” The crowd erupted in laughter.

Bargfrede said she would be willing to stay on for a while part time or on an “assistant basis.” The board voted to take Bargfrede up on her offer and to advertise the vacancy as soon as possible. The job  is only open to residents of Andover.

In an interview on Tuesday, Bargfrede said she looked forward to doing some gardening and sewing and getting some things done around the house. She especially looks forward to having the time to read. Bargfrede says she’s worked at the town office on and off since the early 1980s for a total of 17 or 18 years.

Asked what she would look for in a new town clerk, Bargfrede said that a clerk needs to be a representative of the town and be able to connect with people. “You’ve got to want the diversity of the job,” she said. “One day you’re recording things, the next you’re making deposits and measuring a driveway for a 911 sign. We’ve even been called to ask if we’ll trap a bear on somebody’s driveway. We draw the line at that.”

While her posted office hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Bargfrede says she’s usually in the office from about 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 in the afternoon. “I tell people if my car’s here, the door’s open.”

“I hope I’ve brought the community together,” said Bargfrede. “The clerk is the first person people see when they come to a town to buy property. I’ve met a lot of lovely new people and have great respect for the old families that have been here for generations. They are the backbone of the town.”

The former Linda Forbes, Bargfrede’s roots go way back in town. “They don’t make ’em much more Andover than me,” she jokes noting that of the four children she raised with her husband David, one lives in Keene, N.H., one in Chester (on Bargfrede Road) and two are still in Andover.  “They all said they would never live in Andover, but here they are,” said Bargfrede who also has seven grandchildren.

Bargfrede says she’ll miss a lot of things about the job, but she won’t miss the alarm clock in the morning and FEMA paperwork.

Mauti appointed Cemetery Sexton

In other action, the board appointed Hank Mauti as Cemetery Sexton. Saying “gravity never sleeps,” Mauti told the board that he had looked at a number of the cemeteries and felt that a lot of tree work needed to be done to prevent branches and whole trees from falling and damaging headstones. Mauti also noted a spot at East Hill Cemetery where a portion of a stone wall could be removed to gain access to a new section that Jill and Nate Pond would be donating to the town.

The board agreed with Mauti’s assessment but asked him to hold off on moving stones until it was confirmed that the property had been conveyed to the town. “We don’t want to get the cart before the horse,” said board member Barry Williams.

Fromberger was not on the agenda, but told the board he would like to come by at a future meeting and bring the board up to speed on what’s happening with Act 46, the school consolidation law.


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