Morristown’s town clerk departing for South Orange

Morristown Town Clerk Kevin Harris at MLK breakfast in Morristown, Jan. 16, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Morristown Town Clerk Kevin Harris at MLK breakfast in Morristown, Jan. 16, 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
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Town Clerk Kevin Harris, who brought a friendly style and parliamentary order to Morristown council meetings, will oversee his last town election on Tuesday.

On Nov. 11, 2017, he will be stepping down to assume the clerk’s job in South Orange.

Councilman Bob Iannaccone takes oath of office from town Clerk Kevin Harris. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Councilman Bob Iannaccone takes oath of office from town Clerk Kevin Harris. January 2016. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

“Morristown has been great. It’s been a great experience. It’s just time to move on,” said Harris, who assumed the $80,000 town post in January 2015.

“We will miss his energy,” said Morristown Council President Stefan Armington.

Harris came to Morristown from East Orange, where he was a municipal attorney, and earned his state certification as a clerk while on the job.

Although there was a bit of a learning curve–online postings of minutes from council meetings got backlogged at first, and digitization of some records never quite got rolling– Harris “improved significantly” as time went on, Armington said. 

“He was a good clerk, and we wish him the best,” the council president said.

“Obviously, there were some things I would have liked to have gotten accomplished, but didn’t,” Harris said. “But all in all, we did get a lot accomplished.”

His priorities, he said, were ensuring the council had whatever it needed to legislate effectively, making sure elections ran smoothly, and overseeing distribution of town licenses and permits, for everything from taxis and limousines to bars and resident parking.

Council Vice President Toshiba Foster praised Harris as “very knowledgeable,” and “instrumental in making sure I had what I needed for our meetings.” 

The clerk recently helped at a Saturday morning workshop for kids, Foster said, “not because he had to, but because he wanted to ensure the kids had the best experience.  It was a kind gesture.  I am thankful for the opportunity I had to work with Kevin, and I wish him all the best.”

Cindy Knowles, center, of the Furrylicious pet shop talks to Morristown Town Clerk Kevin Harris, as shop co-owner Stephanie Earl listens. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Cindy Knowles, center, of the Furrylicious pet shop talks to Morristown Town Clerk Kevin Harris, as shop co-owner Stephanie Earl listens, June 2017. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

Harris said he appreciated the chance “to work with an administration and council that really cares about the residents they serve, and about moving in the right direction. And to work with residents who care enough and love the town enough that they are involved with government and participate actively.

“It’s a great town to live in, and to work for.”

With an award-winning downtown of its own, South Orange is similar to Morristown in many respects, added Harris, who resides in Essex County.

Morristown already has received several resumes from clerk applicants, Armington said, noting that  Deputy Clerk Robin Kesselmeyer will fill in until a permanent successor is hired.

Although Harris said he will miss his Morristown co-workers “and the people and the atmosphere in general,” he won’t be a stranger.

Harris noted he is a member of the Morristown-based Sigma Zeta Lambda chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

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