Hamden assistant town clerk hired for top job in Wallingford

WALLINGFORD — The town clerk’s stamp will have a new name on it as new Town Clerk Kristen Panzo started her first day Wednesday.

“I’m really happy to be here,” she said Wednesday afternoon.

Panzo last served as the assistant town clerk in her hometown of Hamden, and before that was the assistant town clerk in Madison and Guilford. She earned a degree in business management from Albertus Magnus College and earned state town clerk certification in 2019.

“We welcome Ms. Panzo to Wallingford and look forward to continued excellent service in Wallingford,” Mayor William Dickinson Jr. said.

Panzo sees her new position as an opportunity for professional growth. She was familiar with Wallingford and knew former Town Clerk Deborah McKiernan, who retired at the beginning of the year.

“I want to continue doing what Debbie did to make it a functioning, pleasant office,” Panzo said. “I want to follow in her footsteps.”

The town was without a town clerk since the beginning of the year when McKiernan retired. Soon after that, Assistant Town Clerk Tiffany Gordon also left her position, leaving the office without anyone certified to work there. Dickinson named his secretary, Joan Stave, as the acting town clerk and said he was close to hiring a permanent replacement for McKiernan.

But questions recently arose about the legality of using the town clerk stamp that still had McKiernan’s name on it. All of the documents the office received, including real estate filings, marriage certificates and divorce filings, were stamped with the retired town clerk’s name on them.

Both Dickinson and Town Council Chairman Vincent Cervoni said the fact that McKiernan’s name was on the stamp did not negate the legality of the documents. Both men are attorneys. Town Attorney Gerald Ferrell also said that the outdated stamp presented no legal issues.

Councilor Sam Carmody said he is happy that the situation is now resolved.

“I am very glad to hear that this essential municipal role has, at long last, been filled,” Carmody said. “Ms. Panzo has an impressive professional reputation. I think she will be a great addition to the town of Wallingford. We are all excited and look forward to working with her to administer the important work of our town.”


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