Published December 03. 2011 4:00AM
New London - A 28-year-old language arts teacher at Bennie Dover Jackson Middle School has been named the city clerk of New London.
Nathan M. Caron, who lives in downtown New London, was sworn in Friday afternoon at City Hall. He replaces Michael Tranchida, who retired Friday.
"I've always been interested in the city's documents,'' Caron said after taking the oath of office, which was administered by another former city clerk, Clark van der Lyke. "The clerk's office is an extension of the people, and I intend to treat each transaction as a vital member of the community.''
Caron was chosen from a pool of five candidates by outgoing City Manager Denise Rose, in consultation with Mayor-elect Daryl Justin Finizio.
Finizio said none of the applicants had any experience working in a municipal clerk's office but Caron had the highest level of education and the broadest life experiences.
"It's a challenging job and a challenging time for the clerk's office,'' Finizio said. "There's a need for modernization, and I think Mr. Caron is up for it."
Caron has a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of Connecticut and a master's degree in education from St. Joseph College in West Hartford. He grew up in Colchester and lived in New York for a time before moving to New London last year. He was in his second year of teaching eighth-grade classes at Bennie Dover.
Caron said he plans to look at the clerk's office with fresh eyes. "I want to get in there and look around and see what we have."
Finizio said the assistant city clerk, Dawn Quinn, who also retired Friday, has agreed to work in the office "for the foreseeable future" to help Caron get acclimated. Tranchida will also be available.
Finizio said he has contacted clerks' offices in Groton and Waterford as well as the Connecticut Town Clerks Association and that all have offered assistance.
Caron, who will have three years to meet the state's certification requirements for municipal clerks, was appointed interim city clerk on Friday and will be reappointed to the position by Finizio on Tuesday, after Finizio is sworn in as mayor Monday night.
Because Tranchida and Quinn both retired Friday, a new city clerk had to be sworn in immediately, as dictated by state law.
The positions were advertised with a $60,000 annual salary for city clerk and $46,906 for assistant clerk.
The assistant clerk's office will be filled at a later date, Finizio said.
Historically, the clerk and assistant clerk were political appointments. In 2010, when voters amended the City Charter, the two positions became merit-based jobs overseen by the personnel office. The city clerk is also a department head.
Tranchida and Quinn were recommended for their positions 12 years ago by the Democratic Town Committee. Their appointments were approved by the City Council.