NORTH ANDOVER — Town Manager Melissa Murphy-Rodrigues said she expects to have a new clerk "up and running" by the annual local election March 31.

Murphy-Rodrigues, who began her duties Sept. 16, said she is conducting the second round of interviews with finalists.

"We have great candidates," she said, declining to elaborate further.

Murphy-Rodrigues – not the Board of Selectmen – will make the appointment.

The new town clerk will replace Joyce Bradshaw, who retired July 19. Bradshaw, a lifelong North Andover resident, served in the position for 25 years and was widely respected, both within the town and elsewhere.

"There will never be another Joyce Bradshaw," said Donald Stewart, a former selectman who served for 21 years on the town's governing board.

When her retirement was announced at the special Town Meeting in June, she received an extended standing ovation.

The town clerk supervises all elections in the community. He or she also issues birth, death and business certificates and maintains town records – which in North Andover go back to the Revolutionary War. 

Since Bradshaw's retirement, Laurie Burzlaff, director of administrative services, has served as acting town clerk.

"Laurie has done a great job," Murphy-Rodrigues said.

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