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I am grateful and honored that the people of Ayer have elected me as their town clerk and tax collector. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to work with my office assistants and fellow Town Hall colleagues to address the needs of the people of Ayer and improve the services we provide them in a cost-effective and productive manner.

As I look forward, I have three goals for these offices: 1. increased training and education for my office assistants; 2. a comprehensive plan of management for the paper records our offices are required by law to keep and store; and 3. an ongoing commitment to technology that makes sense and becomes a true, long-term solution.

Education is critical for Ayer’s continued well-being. Laws, regulations and policies continually change. Thankfully, the professions of town clerk and tax collector have professional associations — the Massachusetts Collectors and Treasurers Association and the Middlesex Town and City Clerks Association — which provide educational classes and training. This past August, I earned the designation of Certified Massachusetts Municipal Collector. It is my goal to see my assistants begin working toward their certifications.

The offices of town clerk and tax collector have no more space in our vault, vault anteroom or office area for the many records and documents we have collected since 1871, the year of Ayer’s founding, and continue to collect as part of our ongoing duties. It is imperative that we start addressing not only the historical preservation aspects of these documents, but find effective ways to retain paper documents that the law requires us to keep in paper form.

The third goal is better use of technology to enhance office productivity. To do this, we must wisely choose the best technology and then apply the proper training and resources so that it naturally fits the purpose and needs of our offices.

Thank you to the people of Ayer for the wonderful opportunity you have given me. Let’s work together to achieve these three goals and others over the next three years. I thank you for your support and look forward to your vote on Monday, April 28.

John Canney