Cathy Harder-Bernier, Hanover Town Clerk
Cathy Harder-Bernier, Hanover Town Clerk


The Committee to Elect Cathy Harder-Bernier


Bill Cass, Chairman,

Theresa Delahunt, Treasurer

Joe DeFerrari, Website Adminstrator


125 River Road
Hanover, MA  02339



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Cathy Harder-Bernier, Hanover Town Clerk News

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Cathy Harder-Bernier is a firm believer in participatory democracy, and feels that the Town Clerk's Office can serve as "the front porch of the old time general store" that is Town Hall. Email Cathy at, who is always interested in hearing your concerns. Cathy is always ready to field your questions and to help make connections within the community.

Spirit of Hanover Community Service Award revived

By Adam Silva
Posted Jan 23, 2019 at 12:00 PM

After a two-year break, the Spirit of Hanover Community Service Award is returning. Residents have an opportunity to nominate someone who enriches the community by giving freely of their time, energy and talent.

The winner will have their name added to a plaque that resides in the lobby of Hanover Town Hall and there will be a banquet in their honor.

Virginia Szejnar was named the first recipient of the Spirit of Hanover Community Service award in April 2002. The award was presented for the next 12 years until there was a lapse in 2014. The award returned in 2015 and 2016, but no one has been named since.

The award was created in the wake of the events on Sept. 11, 2001 when there was a new sense of community spirit in Hanover, according to Hanover Town Clerk Cathy Harder-Bernier. With a sense of togetherness, an event at B. Everett Hall Field was held shortly thereafter where residents spoke, lit candles and sang songs.

“After that day, a group of people got together and decided that we needed to do something together as a town to honor residents of Hanover who made Hanover what it was,” said Harder-Bernier. “We were all feeling very supportive of our first responders and certainly we continue to honor them every year on that anniversary. However, we never had anything like a citizen of the year or a celebration of community service.”

She describes the makeup of the group as a “mishmash” of residents, as the first group included State Rep. Bob Nyman, former Hanover Police Chief Paul Hayes, residents Donna Buckley and Kathy Harrington.

Harder-Bernier won the award herself in 2009 and became a member of the committee two years after that.

“Members of the committee shifted and changed as some people moved out of town,” said Harder-Bernier. “Larry Sweeney became the police chief and Rhonda Nyman became state representative and then David DeCoste. So this is now the 15th time this has been given out.”

After being asked in December as to the status of the award, the question quickly piqued her interest in bringing it back. She instantly thought of several Hanover residents that “have stepped up to the plate in a big way.”

She reached out to previous committee members to judge their interest in reviving the award, including former recipients Hal Thomas and Judith-Ann Grecco and Sweeney. Former selectmen Susan Settlerland and Robert O’Rourke, who was chosen as Nyman’s delegate on the committee, were previously on the committee, but are no longer. DeCoste will serve on the committee and Harder-Bernier has asked Selectmen Chairman Emmanuel Dockter to select a representative from the five-member board of selectmen.

The awards ceremony will be held either in late March or early April and the community is invited. The event has been held at the council on aging and the American Legion.

The winners of the awards are as follows: 2002: Virginia Szejnar; 2003: Barbara Barker; 2004: Dick Eaton; 2005: Jean Migre; 2006: Lois Van Doren; 2007: John Thomson; 2008: Barbara Itz; 2009: Cathy Harder-Bernier; 2010: Joanne Cure; 2011: Harold Thomas; 2012: Roger Leslie; 2013: Judith-Ann Grecco; 2015: Jim Gallant; 2016: Ray Miller.

Nominations must be in writing and can be submitted until Friday, Feb. 15. Nominations can be mailed to Spirit of Hanover Community Service Award, P.O. Box 214, Hanover, MA, 02339, or emailed to For more information, contact Harder-Bernier at 781-826-5000 x 1079, 781-826-3937 or

Hanover Voters Keep Town Clerk Position Elected

May 8, 2018


The Hanover Town Clerk position will remain an elected one after a narrow vote at Town Meeting Monday.

Without much fanfare or debate from the crowd at Hanover High School, one of the largest decisions of the night began with a PowerPoint presentation from town clerk Cathy Harder-Bernier on why she supported the decision to keep things the way they are, and not make the position appointed.

Harder-Bernier said she supported the position remaining elected because of the long-standing belief that the town clerk needs to “remain insulated from the political winds."

“It’s very plausible if you have an unethical town clerk or unethical town manager, you could trade an appointment or a salary for an election,” Harder-Bernier said. “Up until this point, fast forward to 2018, my position is still elected. In Massachusetts, two-thirds of clerks are elected and one-third is appointed, so it’s not a rarity.”

According Harder-Bernier, in 2004 and again in 2008, the government studies committees that recommended the Town Manager Act also recommend an elected town clerk.

“There was quite a bit of debate back then going back and forth,” she said. “There was some discussion about it being appointed back then, but both of the study committees recommended that it stay elected.”

Early Voting Comes at a Cost for Cities and Towns

January 23, 2018


The certified cost for early voting in the November 2016 election in Hanover was determined to be $11,517.62.

The early voting experiment in Massachusetts is finally paying off for the municipalities that participated.

The November 2016 presidential election was the first in the state’s history where voters could cast their votes ahead of Election Day, other than by absentee ballot.

State Auditor Suzanne Bump wrote a letter to lawmakers Jan. 8 calling for the state to provide more than $1 million in early voting funds to cities and towns in a supplemental budget to cover some of the costs associated with early voting.

After determining the requirement to let voters cast ballots in person early amounted to an unfunded mandate, Bump’s office conducted a survey to determine how much municipal governments paid to comply with the early voting law.

The certified cost for Hanover was determined to be $11,517.62.

Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office offered early voting grants ranging from $250 to $2,000, but those grants typically did not cover the full mandated cost of providing early voting. The grants varied depending on the size of the community, the number of early voting locations and the amount of early voting hours a community offered.

Many cities and towns chose to go beyond the minimum requirements of the early voting law, offering multiple early voting locations and extended evening or weekend hours. Those optional costs totaled approximately $1.9 million statewide, nearly double the amount of the mandated costs. Since those expanded services were not mandated by law, they won’t be covered by state funding.

Overall voter turnout for Hanover for the 2016 election was 84.5 percent, while its early voting turnout was at 30 percent. The state’s early voter turnout average was 22 percent.

According to Hanover Town Clerk Cathy Harder-Bernier, there were two different levels of employees that worked with early voting. The first was checkers, who checked people in when they came to vote early, and wardens, those who supervised the process.

Checkers worked a total 286.5 hours total and their average hourly pay was $11.11. Wardens worked a total of 198 hours total and their average hourly pay was $16.14.

A facilities worker was paid overtime, but his regular hours were not counted.

“It was a concerted effort on our part to make sure that we ran a clean, above-board, confidential and efficient election,” Harder-Bernier said. “We had other expenses that were not allowable for reimbursement, with things such as training for both checkers and wardens, some ballot transfer bags, signs and ballot box seals. It was a total of additional expenses of about $1,000 that we received no reimbursement for. All things considered, it was a concerted and professional effort. We served the people of Hanover well.”

There are several proposed changes to the early voting laws the Massachusetts Town Clerk Association is putting forward, according to Harder-Bernier. The three biggest changes include getting rid of the envelopes that are used, being able to put the ballots directly into the voting machines and getting rid of early voting by mail.

When voting early, Massachusetts residents filled out their ballots, put it in an envelope and wrote their name and address on the envelope. The envelopes were then entered into a container. The process was “easy, efficient, user-friendly and people loved it,” she said.

“The problem is that people also complained about the fact that they were putting their ballot in an envelope that had their name and address on it,” said Harder-Bernier. “There was concern that you could see how people voted. If I had election staff that wanted to find out how someone voted, which none of them did or would, they could do that. There was potential for the lack of privacy. We were phenomenal about that issue in my opinion, if I can brag about my staff.”

The way the legislation was written in 2014, according to Harder-Bernier, it “left the door open” for privacy issues. The Massachusetts Town Clerks Association is currently advocating to get rid of envelopes and allow people to fill out their ballots and put it into a ballot box. It won’t be tabulated until election day, as per the law, but names and addresses won’t be tied to a specific ballot.

Ending early voting by mail is another issue that the association is planning on focusing on, according to Harder-Bernier, due to the “chaos” it brought. Early voting ballots were not allowed to be mailed until the first day early voting was allowed, so many people panicked when they did not receive them immediately and came to town hall to request new ballots.


Adam Silva, Wicked Local

Harder-Bernier hopes to bring fresh perspective


July 6th, 2016

After three years as Hanover's town clerk, Cathy Harder-Bernier will be taking on an additional role with the Massachusetts Town Clerks Association's Executive Board.

"I was thrilled, flattered and initially flabbergasted," she said. "I didn't think my relative newness would be seen as an asset."

Harder-Bernier expressed interest about six months ago to be on the legislative board of the association, because she was excited about the change in early voting in the state and wanted to be involved in how that develops, she said. There were no openings at the time, she said, but when an opening came up on the executive board, Harder-Bernier was nominated.


Other members of the association then elected her to the post.


She didn't anticipate being elected because she has only been a town clerk for three years, but she said she hopes she can bring a fresh perspective to the board, the way she has done in the Hanover office. She was re-elected to a second three-year term in Hanover this past May.


"She's certainly demonstrated in the short time she's been in office that she's very professional and well regarded in her community, and is also very well regarded by members of the MTCA," said Andrew Dowd, executive board president.


Harder-Bernier said she was surprised by the election, but feels her experience in the last three years in office has given her more experience than is typical.


"I never in a million years thought I would be nominated, let alone elected," Harder-Bernier said. "Although, I do consider the last three years in office unusual. I've run nine or 10 elections and completely changed the face of this office."


During her time in the Hanover office, she's undertaken initiatives to make documents and information much more accessible to the public by putting it on the town website.


For example, all of the information on the town clerk page on the Hanover website was blank when she took office, she said. Now, it has information on all aspects of the office, including birth and death certificates, elections, dog licenses, town bylaws and the census.

She has also put the agendas for meetings online, when previously, the agendas were posted physically on a bulletin board outside of her office, she said.


She's still working on ways to bring the office into the 21st century, with initiatives such as setting up a way for to pay for business certificates online, the way people can pay their taxes online.


"There's still a lot to do," she said.


She's also changed the way the town hires election workers. Before she came to office, volunteers signed up and didn't have to go through training, she said. Now, interested candidates have to apply and be interviewed for the job, and then must go through mandatory training before working an election, she said.


Harder-Bernier said she hopes to bring some new ideas to the board about how town clerks might be able to modernize their offices and local government.


One of the main objectives of the association is to provide training to members in order to help strengthen the efficiency of town government, said Dowd, who is the town clerk in Northborough.


Harder-Bernier said she's happy to be able to represent Hanover on a bigger scale and that she looks forward to working in her new role.

"I'm proud of the service we're able to provide residents in Hanover, and if I can bring some of that to the rest of the state, I'll be psyched," she said.


Dowd said the association is looking forward to working with Harder-Bernier.


"We're very happy to have her on board as part of the team," Dowd said.


Harder-Bernier was sworn into her new role Friday, July 1.


By Kaila Braley

At left, Town Clerk Catherine Harder-Bernier and School Committee member Leah Tuzik; at right, Cathy swearing in John Tuzik to the board of selectmen

Hanover voters elect new selectman, school committee member


May 11, 2016


New members on the board of selectmen and school committee were sworn Saturday following the Annual Town Election that brought out just over 11 percent of Hanover's registered voters.


Residents elected new faces to both boards after incumbents chose not to run for election to another term.


Lifelong resident John Tuzik took the three-year selectmen seat left open by Joseph Salvucci. Former educator and stay-at-home mother Leah Miller won a three-year term on the school committee. She will replace Michael Phillips.


With 679 votes, Tuzik beat out opponent Emmanuel Dockter who earned 380.


"I definitely felt good about results and that voters came out out support me," Tuzik said. "I'm thankful for Emmanuel’s participation, and I thought he was a great candidate as well."


Tuzik, who owns a medical device business, said he wants to use his managerial and financial acumen to curb spending in town.


"I definitely want to help make sure that the water project -- $2.4 million was approved for improvements to water treatment infrastructure -- I want to make sure that gets done right, and I have a keen interest in the fireworks site down by Factory Pond as well."


In hopes of being elected, Tuzik said he has been attending selectmen meetings and catching up on issues facing the town, like senior housing, the water project and general affordability.


"I'm fairly well up to speed on the majority of issues as I've proactively attended some of board of selectmen meetings over past month so that if I were to prevail, I would be able step right in. My background as a businessman will help me to do that," he said.


Miller took 596 votes to beat out opponent Kevin Dyer's 461 in the school committee race.


"I was very excited and surprised when I head I'd won," Miller said.


Nearly double the number of voters turned up at the polls this weekend as did in 2015 when voters had just one contested race on the ballot. Miller said this was a testament to the amount of interest residents have in what's going on at the schools.


"I think people were very interested in the school committee because I think they see lot things need to get done – the Center/Sylvester build is a big topic," she said.


Miller said she is eager to delve into the issues and get started on the committee.


"I'll be making sure there is a special Town Meeting about [the Center/Sylvester building renovation] in the fall," she said. "We will need to get people who don’t normally show up and who have vested interest to come out and vote. We did a great job with that this election."


Town Clerk Catherine Harder-Bernier said Saturday's election, with 1,110 ballots cast, was the busiest local election she's seen in her tenure.


"It was definitely slow compared to the presidential primary, but for a town election, it was terrific -- the best turnout I’ve seen in the three years I’ve been in office," she said.


She credited the selectmen and school committee races for mobilizing voters.


"It definitely brought some people out. I think the candidates worked hard get constituents out, and these seats are important," she said. "There were also quite a few write-in campaigns.


Of the 10 offices up for election, incumbents retook seats on five, and three write-in candidates filled offices with no candidates in the race.


Robert Heywood will retake his seat on the board of public works. Unopposed candidates Jeffrey Puleo took another term on the planning board,


Emily Blampied will serve again as a trustee of the public library, and Harder-Bernier was re-elected as town clerk. All will serve three-year terms.


Town Moderator Doug Thomson, who also ran unopposed, was elected to another one-year term.


Two Write-in candidates have accepted their election and will take their seats, said Harder-Bernier. John Doherty will join the board of health, and


MaryAnn Brugnoli will join the planning board. Nancy Lyons, who earned 62 votes for a term on the board of assessor's has not yet responded, Harder-Bernier said.


If Lyons does not accept the position, selectmen and the board of assessor's will meet jointly to appoint a member who will serve until the next town election.


Erin Tiernan, Wicked Local

March 3, 2016


The Committee to Re-Elect Cathy Harder-Bernier Hanover’s Town Clerk would like to cordially invite all residents of the town of Hanover to attend Cathy Harder-Bernier’s campaign kickoff “Fun-raiser.”
The event will be held from 7 to 10 p.m. Thursday, March 10 at Quan’s Kitchen, 871 Washington St., Hanover. It will include a cash bar and appetizers.
Tickets are available in advance for the suggested donation of $15 per person from Bill and Karen Cass, Diana Frucci, Diane Sawin, Libby Corbo, Emily Blampied, Kim Booker, Laurie Griffin, Lynne Gelly, Tyson Sunnerberg, and Theresa Delahunt.
For more information, please contact Bill Cass, campaign manager, at .

Sanders, Trump Take Hanover Votes


March 1, 2016


Hanover votes were in line with state results in Tuesday’s presidential primary with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton battling for the Democratic nomination and Trump taking the GOP ticket three-to-one.


“Bernie Sanders narrowly led Clinton, and Trump won in a landslide,” Hanover Town Clerk Catherine Harder-Bernier told reporters as she posted the town’s unofficial results just after the close of polls.


Sanders beat out Clinton by 103 votes whereas on the Republican ticket, Donald Trump won 946 votes more than Marco Rubio, the second-hightest vote getter.


About 52 percent of Hanover’s 9,910 registered voters turned up to vote, which was less than 6,000 voters Harder-Bernier initially predicted.
“Turnout was lighter than I thought it would be but we were still solidly over 5,000 voters,” she said.


The final tally counted just over 5,100 voters, which was about on par with 2008’s presidential primary—the last time an incumbent wasn’t seeking the office, she said.


“I was considering this race to be the same as the 2008 primary, and it’s interesting our turnout is about the same,” Harder-Bernier said.


Voting was steady throughout the day, but picked up around 5 p.m. Lines were five to 10 people thick in each of the four precincts at times, according to Harder-Bernier.


Erin Tiernan, Wicked Local

Get Ready to Vote

Febuary 3, 2016


With Iowa behind us, Massachusetts voters have just under four weeks to prepare for the presidential primary election.


Are you ready?


It’s not as simple as just showing up at the polls on primary day, Tuesday, March 1. Voters need to be registered, informed (hopefully) and affiliated with the party of their choice.

Voters must choose which primary they would like to cast their ballot—you can’t vote in them all!


In Massachusetts there are four possible party designations: Democratic, Republican, Green-Rainbow, and United Independent Party.


“With four political parties and therefore four ballots at the polls, residents are strongly encouraged to check their party status before Feb. 10,” Hanover Town Clerk Catherine Harder-Bernier said.


The last day to change party status or register to vote in the presidential primary is Wednesday, Feb. 10.


Remember, you are free to vote in whichever primary you so choose, but only if your party affiliation coincides. A registered Democrat cannot vote in the Republican primary (and vice versa), do check with the Hanover Town Clerk’s Office and make sure your affiliation aligns with your intentions.


“When you register to vote, you may choose to enroll in a political party or political designation, or may choose to remain ‘unenrolled’, which is commonly referred to as independent…if you enroll in any of (the) four parties you may only vote in that party’s primary,” Secretary of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin said.


Town Hall will be open from 8am to 8pm on February 10th to accommodate voters. Hanover residents can also register to vote or change their party status, by mail or in person.


To register online, visit the Secretary of State’s website at


To register by mail, download the Massachusetts Mail-In Voter Registration Form” found at


Registration can be done in person at the Hanover Town Clerk’s Office, 550 Hanover St., or at any state Registry of Motor Vehicles.


Harder-Bernier also encouraged any Hanover citizen who will be 18 on or before Election Day to check in and register to vote.


The Hanover Town Clerk’s office can help voters with questions about registration and party affiliation. Hanover Town Clerk Catherine Harder Bernier can be reached at 781-826-5000, Extension 1079 or by email at Senior Registrar Nancy Goldthwait can be reached at 781-826-5000, Extension 1082 or


Don’t miss your chance to have your voice heard.


Hanover Mariner

Old Safe Gets New Life at Town Hall

Nov. 24, 2015 


HANOVER – Town Clerk Catherine Harder-Bernier grabbed the handle of a long-forgotten safe in the basement of town hall.

As she got ready to open it, she wondered what treasures might be hiding inside.

Tucked away in a dark, dank basement corner, the safe hadn’t been opened in 35 or 40 years, Harder-Bernier said. The combination had been lost so long ago not a single town employee could remember when it was last used, she said.

“Part of me was concerned there might be something in there that needs to be protected, or that had become damp and moldy in the basement,” Harder-Bernier said.

When she finally drew back the handle on the old safe, she was relieved to find that the shelves were empty.

“There was nothing precious to our history in there, and that was a relief,” she said. “I wasn’t surprised, but a little deflated. Now the question is what do we do with the safe and how do we use the town’s money wisely?”

Locksmith Phil Shearer of Hanover Lock and Safe cracked the combination and will replace the lock so the safe can be used again.

It will then find new life as protector of some of the town’s most precious documents, Harder-Bernier said.

As the town clerk, Harder-Bernier’s main duty is to protect town documents.

In 2014 she secured a grant via the Community Preservation Committee to restore some of Hanover’s oldest records and refurbish a place to keep them safe.

Three old jail cells on the lower level of town hall, a throwback to the days when Hanover Police Department occupied the building, now house birth, death, tax and other records dating back to the early 1800s.

Bound in leather, the collection of thousands of records shows the history of Hanover through its residents.

“This is our town’s history; it doesn’t get any better than this,” Harder-Bernier said.

Erin Tiernan, Patriot Ledger

HIDDEN GEMS: Hanover's Oldest Town Records Shed Light on Past

Sep 4, 2015

Hanover resident Arthur Whiting paid $217 in property taxes in 1928. It covered both of his houses, a garage, an outhouse, a horse and seven cows.
This is just one entry available in a collection of Hanover’s oldest town records that were recently reorganized by Town Clerk Catherine Harder-Bernier, who is also hoping to restore and preserve the documents more carefully.
“You can learn so much from town history,” she said. “We owe it to future generations to make sure the records are in good condition for them to use too.”
The documents, which date back to 1727 when the town was founded, used to be stored in the basement of town hall, where mold grew due to the dampness, Harder-Bernier said.
Now, most of the documents older than 1900 were moved to the old jail cells on the first floor of the town hall. These records include vital records—old birth, death and marriage certificates—as well as town warrants, cash ledgers, dog licenses and enrollment of militia.
Anyone is able to come look through the records, with Harder-Bernier’s supervision, she said. Some people come to her looking for information on their genealogy, or to find out about the history of their property.
Peter Johnson, chairman of the Hanover Historical Commission said the commission has been very supportive of preserving these documents.
“If someone’s doing research, or needs to get some information for legal reasons, these are mighty important,” he said.
In 2009, the Community Preservation Committee allocated $45,000 for preservation of town documents, she said.
When Harder-Bernier became town clerk in 2013, after already working on organizing and moving the documents as a volunteer for about a year, only a little over $1,000 of that money had been spent.
Harder-Bernier cleared out the old jail cells, which were used for miscellaneous storage, and had taken the oldest documents from the basement to be put in there. That space was preferable to the basement, she said, because it has air conditioning, heat and a dehumidifier.
Just this past March, Harder-Bernier, with approval from the CPC and the Hanover Historical Commission, spent about $2,500 to hire the company King Information Systems to come into the old jail cells at the Town Hall to build shelving and organize the documents.
“It seems simple, but it was crucial that it was done right,” Harder-Bernier said. “They have archival experience and an educated eye.”
She said now it’s time to think about how to best use the rest of the funds.
“We need to create climate-controlled spaces,” Harder-Bernier said.
She said the old jail cells are an improvement from the basement, where the air is damp, flooding might occur, and some of the floors are still dirt.
But, the cells aren’t big enough to hold all of the documents, she said. There are a few rooms in the basement that are more dry than others, and could be more climate-controlled, Harder-Bernier said, noting it would be an expensive project.
“Forty-one thousand dollars isn’t going to do it,” she said.
As Town Clerk, Harder-Bernier said it’s her responsibility to make sure these documents are preserved well.
“I want to do right by these documents,” she said.
During Candidate’s Night in April, when those running for public office participate in an open forum with the public, Harder-Bernier read from the log of Hanover’s first Town Meeting.
The document, with the original spelling, read, “At a Town meeting held att hanover march the 2nd day 1727, the town made choyce of mr Joseph Marstow for the moderator and Willm Wethrell for there Town Clark.”
The document goes on to list who was elected into different positions, such as selectmen, tithing men, and even a “hogreve,” which is a town official responsible for collecting loose pigs and dealing with any damage they cause.
“It shows that even before we had democracy in this country, we had a history of electing officials in Hanover,” she said.
Johnson said that the documents are very valuable for understanding how the town has evolved over time.
“You can get a better sense of how the town worked. You realize the selectmen had quite a different role in the 18th and 19th centuries. It was their responsibility to take care of people when they ran out of money,” he said.
“Town government has evolved, and there’s a lot to learn by looking at those documents,” Johnson said.
Kaila Braley, Wicked Local

Hanover public meeting notices, agendas available online


February 23, 2015


Hanover Town Clerk Catherine Harder-Bernier announced last week that the town of Hanover has fully implemented its new policy to post meeting notices and agendas online.


Last year Harder-Bernier recommended the change to the process the town’s boards and committees use to notify the public of upcoming meetings and related agendas, previously the meeting notices were posted on a bulletin board outside the clerk’s office.


“Gone are the days of posting paper meeting notices on bulletin boards that nobody reads or has easy access to,” Harder-Bernier said.


She credited town departments and committees for the collaborative effort undergone to implement the new policy, thanking the town’s computer coordinator Tom Nee for his efforts.


“The Commonwealth’s Division of Open Government has been notified, and Jan. 1, 2015 we went live,” she said.


Residents are encouraged to navigate to the front page of the town’s website, found at and click on the calendar icon on the right hand side. There they will find meeting notices and agendas for every public body in Hanover that is meeting in the near future. All of the requirements of the Open Meeting Law will still apply, such as 48 weekday hours’ notice will be given, and agendas will be attached.


“Residents of Hanover will be able to easily access important information that will help them to engage in the process of running our town,” said Harder-Bernier. “The information will be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will be yet another transparent window into our government.”


In addition to this new “alternate meeting posting” process, the Town has also added a new computer kiosk outside the Town Clerk’s Office for residents who might not have access to a computer.


“There are still people in town who do not have access to a computer, and even those with computers might have technical issues that prevent them from accessing the information on any given day,” noted Harder-Bernier. “I am delighted to further announce that a public access computer terminal is now also available here outside my office during normal business hours.”


For more information about the new meeting posting process, residents are encouraged to contact Town Clerk Catherine Harder-Bernier at 781-826-5000, Ext. 1079 or, or simply go on the town’s website at .


OUR VIEW HANOVER: Stepping into the Future


July 13, 2014


Over the past year, the town has undergone a slew of cyber changes that included a total refurbishment of the town’s website. Recognizing the convenience and importance of an intuitive web interface, Hanover officials worked to make the town’s website a truly interactive and comprehensive site for both residents and employees.


On Jan. 25, these efforts were recognized when the Massachusetts Municipal Association awarded Hanover’s website the top commendation for excellence in customer service, functionality, convenience and government transparency in its population category.
However, six months later, Hanover is still holding onto to its old-school methods for posting open meeting agendas. Despite the resources available to residents via the town’s website, there is still no streamlined process by which local boards and committees can easily post, access and distribute meeting agendas, according to Town Clerk Catherine Harder-Bernier.


Per town policy, department heads and committee chairmen are still required to physically drive to Hanover Town Hall with a paper agenda and pin it to the board outside the clerk’s office. In the opinion of Harder-Bernier, this method is not only inconvenient, but also disruptive to town business.


On more than one occasion recently, Monday or Tuesday meetings had to be postponed after agendas didn’t make it to onto the clerk’s board by noon on Friday. Since the board is located inside the building, the town’s current posting policy requires that agendas be posted during regular town hall business hours. Town hall closes early on Fridays.
The state requires all open meeting agendas to be posted 48 hours prior to the meeting’s start time.


On Monday, Harder-Bernier brought her concerns to selectmen. She is proposing a change in town policy that will make the town website the primary posting location for meeting agendas, a shift she said will make the town’s agenda calendar more accessible to residents and more convenient for boards and committees.


“It’s about information, transparency and the ability to get information 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” Harder-Bernier said. Part of the policy would require a kiosk be installed in the clerk’s office for the public to use to access the agendas if they do not have access to the internet or a computer elsewhere.


In the interest of convenience and accessibility, the town should consider adopting Harder-Bernier’s proposed policy. After being recognized for its innovation in online services, it’s time that Hanover takes its final step into modern times and require online posting.


Wicked Local


Hanover High's Inaugural Mock Election

Apr 24, 2014

HANOVER – As residents prepare to cast ballots in the annual town election, Hanover High School students are getting ready to vote, too.
Hanover High senior Kristen Daudelin is organizing the high school’s first-ever mock election as part of her senior internship project. The mock election will be held Friday, May 9, the day before the town election.
It will be giving many students their first experience with elections, voting and politics, Daudelin, 18, said.
“I think (high school students) aren’t really interested in politics much, because they don’t think it affects them,” she said. “If we raise awareness of voting, they may learn more about the political world in general.”
Daudelin hopes her efforts will teach her peers to become informed voters and help them develop the voting habit.
She also hopes that engaging students in local government and educating them about the candidates and the issues will have a trickle-down effect on their families.
“I’m looking to put the mock election out to the community so that everyone knows what’s going on,” Daudelin said. “I’m hoping to spark a conversation between parents and students.”
Competition is minimal in this year’s town election. There is just one contest on the ballot – for the school committee.
Daudelin is working beside Town Clerk Catherine Harder-Bernier as she gets ready for the town election. She is creating her own ballots, organizing an informational meeting and even hiring poll workers.
Harder-Bernier said she is “disappointed with the current turnout of candidates, and I would like to help change that course. Hopefully, this mock election will help change that course.”
Harder-Bernier, a retired Hanover teacher, said mock-election idea has been percolating with her for years. She has seen small voter turnouts for town elections and would like to stimulate interest in local government.
“The impetus for the internship is the whole idea of increasing voter turnout town wide,” she said. “Mostly among adults, but the idea behind it is to run a Hanover mock election at the high school and get kids to talk about it at the dinner table with their parents and get them out to vote. We also hope to establish lifelong voter habits and if they start out now, they will.”
Daudelin’s work on the mock election has included writing press releases and learning about the candidates. She said she has learned a lot about local government and gained skills that will help her in college and her career. She plans to study marketing at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst next year.
Although Daudelin said she registered to vote when she turned 18, many of her friends did not. She thinks high school students are disconnected from the outside world.
“People overlook the town election because, who cares who’s in town hall?” Daudelin said. “But in the end, those are the people who make the decisions that affect our daily lives. That’s what makes a difference.”
Daudelin and Harder-Bernier have been working on the high school’s inaugural mock election since January, and it hasn’t always been easy.
Daudelin has struggled to find students willing to serve as poll workers May 9, but she’s managed to get commitments from 25. That leaves six more volunteers to find.
“I don’t want this to be a one-year thing,” Daudelin said. “I want someone to take over. Doing it for one year is not going to make a difference. I’m hoping that this shows people this is an important program that we should be doing, and I’m hoping that someone continues that.”
Erin Tiernan, Wicked Local

Harder-Bernier identified as possible marrow donor


August 4, 2013


Cathy Harder-Bernier, long-time public servant and recently elected Town Clerk from the Town of Hanover, announced today that she has appeared as a possible marrow match for a patient considering a marrow transplant. The patient’s doctor is trying to determine treatment options and the patient’s search is in the early stages. Harder-Bernier joined the National Marrow Donor Program’s “Be The Match Registry” on April 22, 1998, and this is the first and only time to date that she has been contacted as a possible


During the week of July 29, 2013, while Harder-Bernier was in Vermont looking at colleges with her two children, she was contacted by the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) via e-mail regarding her candidacy for marrow donation. Replying electronically since she was out of town, Harder-Bernier confirmed her continued interest in possibly being a donor, and also filled out an electronic health history questionnaire two days after that. Speaking from her home in Hanover upon her return to Massachusetts, Harder-Bernier said, “I am beyond excited to be identified as a possible match for someone in need of a marrow transplant. I would be honored to serve my community in this capacity, and look forward to hearing back from the Registry regarding their next steps, if any.” She went on to say that, “Even if I am not the best candidate or a perfect match, I am thrilled to give someone with leukemia, lymphoma or sickle cell anemia the gift of hope in the meantime.”


Harder-Bernier joined the Registry in memory of her dear childhood friend Karen Brunner, who succumbed to leukemia in 1987, when the National Marrow Donor Program was in its infancy and largely only a series of regional programs. Since then, family friend Nick Metzger of Norwell has benefitted from the national registry and Harder-Bernier participated in a donor registration drive in his honor less than two years ago. She credits that drive with ensuring the NMDP had her accurate electronic contact information. Her first phone call upon returning to the South Shore was to Amanda Metzger, Nick’s mom, who was thrilled to hear Cathy's news.


Harder-Bernier took the opportunity to encourage Hanover and South Shore residents to consider joining the National Marrow Donor Program. Thousands of patients with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, sickle cell and other life-threatening diseases need a bone marrow transplant. Doctors search the “Be The Match Registry” to find donors for their patients. Once you’ve joined, the Registry will contact you if a doctor selects you as a match for a patient in need of a life-saving
transplant. You could be a match for a patient soon, many years from now or you may never be called. It’s easy to join the registry on-line at


For more information about the National Marrow Donor Program, call (800)-MARROW2 or e-mail , or Harder-Bernier may be reached at .


Dan Bernier attains Eagle Scout!

June 30, 2013



Hanover Town Clerk Cathy Harder-Bernier’s son Daniel Bernier received his Eagle Scout Award at a ceremony held at St. Mary’s Parish on June 26, 2013. Dan earned his award after completing his Eagle Scout project and having been a Boy Scout in Troop 38, and a Cub Scout in both Packs 37 and 39 for twelve years.

Dan’s Eagle Scout project was to build the new canoe launch located at Forge Pond Park on King Street in Hanover. The genesis of the idea is credited to the Parks and Recreation Department, who together with their volunteer committee members, continues to ably develop the 40 acres of fields and related amenities at that site. In order to develop his Eagle Scout project, Dan appeared before the Conservation Committee and Open Space Committee and received a Special Permit to do work in the watershed around Forge Pond. Advised and assisted by the Hanover Department of Public Works during the design and tree clearing phases of the project, Dan also received a sizeable donation from P. A. Landers of pea stone to complete the work. The largest portion of assistance, however, came from his fellow Scouts in Troop 38 who donated scores of hours of challenging physical labor to clear and prepare the area for use by all in Hanover.

Eagle Scout Advisor David Sawin, Dan’s mother and Hanover Town Clerk Cathy Harder-Bernier, and Dan’s father Bruce Bernier all received “Eagle Scout Mentor” pins at the ceremony for as Town Clerk Cathy Harder-Bernier said, “pointing him in the right direction, and then letting him do it all on his own”. She remembers her role as “the driver, who occasionally got out of the car to make an introduction”.

Dan will extend and deepen his service to his community this summer as a staff member at the summer Park and Rec program at B. Everett Hall Playground. A High Honors student at Boston College High School, Dan is entering his senior year and looking at colleges this summer. In the meantime, he invites the community to, “drive all the way to the end of the Forge Pond Park, park in that end lot, take your kayak or canoe off the top of your car, and enjoy Hanover’s newest canoe launch”.


Popular newsletter editor unopposed in bid for Hanover town clerk’s job

APRIL 2, 2013

Dear supporters:

I was interviewed late last week by Neal Simpson, a reporter from the Patriot Ledger.  What follows is the article that appeared in yesterday’s paper.  I have received questions regarding the fate of “Around Town on the Web” after the election, and I thought you would be interested in my answers, which are accurately reported here.

Thanks, as always, for your interest in and support of my candidacy for Town Clerk.

Cathy H-B


Harder-Bernier will receive Spirit of Hanover award


Apr 1, 2009 

She’s been a coach, a school organizer and a volunteer in the town of Hanover for years. This weekend, Cathy Harder-Bernier will be honored for the community spirit she’s shown.
On Sunday, April 5, Harder-Bernier, a 17-year resident of town, will receive the eighth annual Spirit of Hanover Community Service Award.
The festivities will be held from 2-4 p.m. at the American Legion Hall.
The award is presented each year to an individual who “best exemplifies the spirit of Hanover by voluntarily giving selflessly of their time, energy and talent to the town and its citizens thus enriching lives, fostering a true sense of community and inspiring everyone to a higher level of service,” according to a release from theSpirit of Hanover Community Service committee.
“Just to be mentioned and included with the previous award winners is humbling,” Harder-Bernier said this week. “I’m very honored and touched and although I really appreciate it, I want to crawl under a rock. It is a bit overwhelming.”
Harder-Bernier’s history as a volunteer in town runs deep. In her time in town, she’s served on the Hanover High School Council, been a founding member of HHS-Yes! Steering committee, which helped spread the word about the proposal to build a new Hanover High School – a proposal that Hanover voters approved in September.
She’s also been a member of the Hanover Schools’ Superintendent of Schools Search Committee and served as a Center/Sylvester School Council Community Representative, long before her two children, Dan, 14 and Karen, 11, entered kindergarten.
Additionally, her credits as a volunteer around town are many. She’s a member of the Board of Directors of the South Shore YMCA at Mill Pond, a member of the Committee to Preserve Hanover, and the Friends of the John Curtis Library and of the Stetson House.
She’s been a coach, overseeing teams in YMCA flag football, Hanover youth softball and Massachusetts Sports Club Flag Football.
Harder-Bernier is also a Hanover Pack 37 Cub Scout Den Leader and a founding member of the Hanover Women’s Book Group.
In addition to this list of accomplishments, she coordinated an effort to help Josh Benner, son of Chris and Corina Silva of Hanover, who is stationed in Iraq, provide first aid supplies and toys to the impoverished children he was encountering daily.
Outside of these activities, residents may also know her from the daily work she does her email group ‘Around Town on the Web.’ Her ‘Around Town on the Web’ email blast currently reaches approximately 800 Hanover residents. She issues 10-15 emails weekly.
In 2003, Harder-Bernier started the informational email blasts because of what she considered a lack of perceived involvement at that time, with the high school renovation proposal.
Dana Forsythe, Wicked Local
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