New town clerk appointed in Amherst: Shavena Martin was election specialist for Springfield

  • Shavena Martin appointed new town clerk for Amherst. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 10/3/2019 2:35:30 PM
Modified: 10/3/2019 2:35:20 PM

AMHERST — An election specialist for the city of Springfield will be Amherst’s next town clerk, pending a review by the Town Council.

Town Manager Paul Bockelman announced Thursday that Shavena Martin, who has recruited, trained and supervised election workers in the city for the past six years, will assume the role vacated by Margaret Nartowicz, who left in June to become town administrator in Berlin.

In a statement, Bockelman said that Martin’s work will focus on the design and implementation of ranked-choice voting for elections, standardizing protocols for local elections and assisting with outreach efforts for the 2020 census.

“Ms. Martin’s experience in a city form of government, elections and the census will help her address the most important challenges facing the town clerk’s office in the coming years,” Bockelman said.

Much of Martin’s work in the city — which has a form of government similar to Amherst’s in that its councilors are elected both at-large and by ward — has been to promote civic engagement and outreach to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, Bockelman said. Martin has also been instrumental in Springfield’s Complete Count Committee.

Martin said she looks forward to being part of taking the clerk’s office in a direction envisioned by Bockelman, as Amherst nears the end of its first year as a council-manager form of government 

“It’s an exciting time for myself and the transition that is happening in Amherst,” Martin said.

She added that it’s an honor to be selected as the next town clerk, though bittersweet to leave Springfield.

“I look forward to hitting the ground running with a focus on building partnerships to implement the 2020 census and the upcoming federal elections,” Martin said.

Since Nartowicz left, Assistant Town Clerk Susan Audette has overseen the office at Town Hall.

Martin’s appointment is on the agenda for the Town Council’s Outreach, Communications and Appointments Committee, which meets at 10 a.m. Monday at Town Hall.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at

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