2006-11-22 / News

Jamestown on tour for town clerk convention

By Donna K. Drago

Sixty town clerks from all over New England took a historical tour of Jamestown last week as part of their annual convention held in Newport. Photo by Jeff McDonough Sixty town clerks from all over New England took a historical tour of Jamestown last week as part of their annual convention held in Newport. Photo by Jeff McDonough Jamestown was the subject of a course for city and town clerks last Thursday - one of several choices they could make to receive professional development credits in their field.

Some 60 members of the New England Association of City and Town Clerks, in Newport for a three-day convention, elected to take a guided trolley tour of the island on Nov. 16, with representatives of the Jamestown Historical Society as their guides. Jamestown Town Clerk Arlene Petit pitched the idea to the historical society and the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce, hoping they would sponsor the offering. "It was oversubscribed," Petit said about the tour, adding, "We had to turn some people away" from the clearly popular offering.

Petit said that participants had to write a paper about the tour in order to get the professional credits.

The tour began at the library, where the clerks were welcomed by Town Administrator Bruce Keiser and members of the chamber, then JHS members Harry Wright and Jim Buttrick hopped on the two trolleys to conduct the historical tours.

The itinerary included stops at the Jamestown Windmill, the Beavertail Lighthouse Museum, and Watson Farm.

Petit said that the tour was geared to show the development of an island community. Noting that while there were several hundred convention attendees, very few actually are town clerks on an island, she said.

"We have unique needs," Petit said about living on an island.

Petit said she came up with the idea for the tour because she is very proud of her community and she wanted to show it off.

"This is a real thrill for me," Petit said.

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