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Berne clerk to retire, decries treatment by Dems

Feb 19, 2021 3:00 pm

Noah Zweifel is reporting for The Altamont Enterprise Berne Town Clerk Anita Clayton announced this week that she will not seek a third term in November. Clayton, a Democrat, has worked for the town in various positions for 20 years. Clayton made the announcement in a letter to the Enterprise wherein she also blasted the town Democratic Committee for a “demeaning” candidate interview, an allegation that committee Chairman Kevin Crosier denies. While denying the conversation was a factor in her decision to resign, Clayton described the experience as an interrogation. She said the committee asked her to denounce the current majority Republican administration, which was sworn in on Jan. 1, 2020. Board member Joel Willsey is the lone Democrat on the now four-member board, following the sudden resignation of Independence Party member Mathew Harris in early 2021. “Over and over,” Clayton wrote, “I was asked to denounce the current administration. What does that mean to denounce someone? It means to condemn, criticize, attack, censure, revile, and vilify someone. That is not who I am nor is it the role of the town clerk to engage in this kind of behavior toward elected officials of the town, town employees, or town residents.” No one involved in the interview would provide details of the questions asked, only to say that all candidates were asked the same questions and that the questions regarded “open government, transparency, [and] issues that have been kept from the townspeople." Crosier maintains that Clayton refused to answer questions during the interview, a charge she denies. A link to Clayton's resignation letter to the editor can be found on the WGXC newsroom page. Read more in The Altamont Enterprise.