TOWNSEND -- Selectmen are appointing a temporary town clerk to run Monday's town election in response to concerns about a possible conflict of interest.
In an emergency meeting Friday, selectmen are expected to appoint Denise MacAloney, the town clerk in Westminster, to administer the election.
The Secretary of State's office had raised concerns about Town Clerk Sue Funaiole's support for one of the candidates, Kathleen Spofford, after receiving complaints, according to Town Administrator Andrew Sheehan. He said he did not know how many complaints the Secretary of State's office had received or who they were from.
Spofford, the current assistant town clerk, is running against Finance Committee Chairman Nancy Rapoza. Funaiole had publicly expressed her support for Spofford, as well as her desire to be the assistant town clerk if Spofford were to be elected, Sheehan said.
"Because of Kathy Spofford's position as a candidate and Sue Funaiole's public support of her and public statement that she wanted to be the assistant town clerk, it raised some concerns with the Secretary of State's office. It seemed like a good workaround to bring in a clerk from outside that could run the election and eliminate any specter of any kind of wrongdoing," Sheehan said.
MacAloney will be in the Town Clerk's Office all day on Monday, from the opening of the polls to the announcement of results.
"She comes with great credentials and a long resume," Sheehan said of MacAloney.
Funaiole said that the decision to appoint a temporary town clerk was the right one.
"It's a sensible thing to do because I don't want the appearance of anything not being above board," Funaiole said.
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