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Council Appoints Drury City Clerk

Progressives Back Temporary Officeholder to Assume Newly-Expanded Role

By Julian E. Barnes, Crimson Staff Writer

At a special meeting Wednesday, the City Council appointed temporary city clerk D. Margaret Drury to fill position permanently.

The council voted six to four to hire Drury. All of the councillors endorsed by the progressive Cambridge Civic Association (CCA) backed the temporary clerk. The five Independent councillors originally supported Deputy City Clerk John. E Flynn, but Independent Councillor Sheila T. Russell changed her vote after the initial ballot.

After the Wednesday meeting Councillor Francis H. Duehay '55, who headed the search committee for the new clerk, said that Drury's appointment was "by no means preordained."

This spring, in a move that caused a minor political explosion the council's CCA majority voted not to rehire City Clerk Joseph E. Connarton. At the time, Connarton supporters labeled the progressive councillors' move a "partisan" act.

Drury was appointed temporary clerk in early June over objections from some of the Independent councillors.

Prior to taking over the city clerk duties, Drury, who is an attorney, held a part-time job in the Cambridge Community Development Department.

Duehay said Drury appealed to the progressive majority because of her law background and her experience as former executive director of the Cambridge Rent Board.

Dury's responsibilities will be more expansive than Connarton's were. Earlier this summer, the City Council passed a broadened job description of the office.

"We wanted a more proactive ap proach to the business of public information,"Duehay said.

In addition to handling all of the publicrecords, the city clerk will now oversee theoperation of the council office and assist thecouncillors in "policy-making responsibilities."

The new duties outlined by the council alsoinclude filing home rule legislation with thestate legislature and tracing the progress ofthose and other bills on Beacon Hill.

Duehay yesterday said he and other councillorsalso want the clerk to hasten the process ofcomputerizing the city's records.

In an interview yesterday, Drury said she iseager to continue her duties in the clerk'soffice.

"I think the clerk's position has historicallybeen important," Drury said. "This is more of amodernization of tasks, putting them in a newcontext. For me, it's exciting, the thought ofworking with the council."

Duehay said Drury has done a top-notched job astemporary city clerk .He noted that she made a"superb presentation" before the council'ssubcommittee in charge of the search.

In particular, the search committee soughtcandidates with the capacity to makeorganizational change, Duehay said. Managerialability and "experience dealing with a diversepublic' were also criteria, he said.

Earlier this summer, Connarton was awarded a$90,000 severance package in exchange for apromise not to take legal action against the city.

The City Council has the power to appoint theCity Clerk, the City Manager and the CityAssessor

In addition to handling all of the publicrecords, the city clerk will now oversee theoperation of the council office and assist thecouncillors in "policy-making responsibilities."

The new duties outlined by the council alsoinclude filing home rule legislation with thestate legislature and tracing the progress ofthose and other bills on Beacon Hill.

Duehay yesterday said he and other councillorsalso want the clerk to hasten the process ofcomputerizing the city's records.

In an interview yesterday, Drury said she iseager to continue her duties in the clerk'soffice.

"I think the clerk's position has historicallybeen important," Drury said. "This is more of amodernization of tasks, putting them in a newcontext. For me, it's exciting, the thought ofworking with the council."

Duehay said Drury has done a top-notched job astemporary city clerk .He noted that she made a"superb presentation" before the council'ssubcommittee in charge of the search.

In particular, the search committee soughtcandidates with the capacity to makeorganizational change, Duehay said. Managerialability and "experience dealing with a diversepublic' were also criteria, he said.

Earlier this summer, Connarton was awarded a$90,000 severance package in exchange for apromise not to take legal action against the city.

The City Council has the power to appoint theCity Clerk, the City Manager and the CityAssessor

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