PEABODY — City Clerk Tim Spanos has recommended the City Council nominate Clerk of Committees/Council Stenographer Allyson Danforth to be the city's ninth city clerk.

Spanos plans to retire at the end of January after 43 years working in City Hall.

"Allyson has attended almost every City Council meeting and sub-committee meeting ever since (July 1, 2005) in the transcribing of council minutes, verbatim public hearings and committee meetings, budget sessions, tax classification hearings, etc. Allyson has a great historical knowledge of City Council matters for the past 15 years," Spanos wrote in a letter to the council dated Nov. 6. 


Danforth, who lives in Beverly, has worked for the council since July 2005, when Spanos became city clerk. She is a former court reporter, Spanos said.

Spanos recommended Danforth be hired on Jan. 31, and he recommended her term run through Dec. 31, 2020. 

Since May 2017, Danforth has worked full time in the clerk's office, "and has been involved in every facet of the day to day operations of the City Clerk's office," Spanos said. This includes elections and city clerk procedures.

"Allyson is also in the process of attaining her certification as a certified municipal clerk," Spanos wrote. "Allyson has great communication skills, has a very good rapport with the public, and has developed great working relationships with the mayor's office, city councilors and all other city departments," Spanos wrote.

Spanos earned nearly $97,600 in 2018, according to city records. Danforth earned $65,800 in her job last year.

For Danforth to be hired, a majority of the council would have to vote for Spanos' recommendation, according to a city ordinance. 

Council President Jon Turco said Tuesday he had discussed the hiring process with Spanos and the Human Resources Department. They determined the council does not have to conduct an outside search to fill the clerk's position.

But if Danforth is promoted, the city will have to hire a new stenographer — a position Spanos said was critical. That process would go through HR.

Spanos provided the council with minutes of the June 9, 2005, meeting from when he was hired, on the recommendation of former longtime City Clerk Natalie Maga. The council accepted her letter of resignation, and Spanos was the sole person nominated to fill Maga's unexpired term, through Dec. 31, 2005. He was "elected as City Clerk" by an 11-0 vote.

"It's the council process that we've always followed," Spanos said. "It's up to the City Council, obviously, to make that appointment."

Spanos has been working for the city since 1977, and his retirement has been in the works for some time. He originally planned to retire in June, but he postponed it to oversee the purchase and implementation of new voting machines, which were first used in the Nov. 5 election. 

"It's getting down to the nitty-gritty of my last official day," Spanos said. "So we want to get someone in place to make a smooth transition, and fill some holes here."

"I think it will all work out," Spanos said. "I've got my fingers crossed."

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at or on Twitter at @TannerSalemNews. 

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