Longtime Barrington employee retiring


After more than 30 years working at Barrington Town Hall, Linda James will be saying good-bye in September. Ms. James has served as the town clerk for the last three years.

Ms. James first came to work for the town in Jan. 1982 in the tax collector’s office. Former town clerk Lorraine Derois chose her to join the office as deputy town clerk in July of 1983. And after Ms. Derois retired in July 2010, Ms. James was appointed to the position by Barrington Town Manager Peter DeAngelis. (Meredith DeSisto was recently named the next town clerk.)

The job of town clerk is one that requires good organizational skills and the ability to multi-task. The office is usually busy from the moment the doors open at 8:30 in the morning and shut at 4:30 p.m. Some of the many tasks the town clerk handles are serving as clerk of the town council, financial town meeting, probate court, board of canvassers and is the recorder of deeds. The town clerk has a staff of two full-time clerks and one part-time clerk to assist in the office.

Ms. James is retiring from her position but she will be keeping herself very busy. The mother of three grown children has three grandchildren who live in town. She said she is a hands-on grandmother and plans to spend quality time with her family, when she is not traveling.

Where did you grow up? “Mostly in Barrington. I was in the first seventh grade to attend the new middle school.”

How long have you lived in Barrington? “More than half my life.”

What does retirement look like? “I think I will start a bucket list… and on the list will be spending time with the kids and grandkids, volunteering, and traveling. I really am overdue for a trip to Atlanta to see my middle child and his wife.”

What will you miss about coming to the town hall every day? “Of course I will miss the people — the people on both sides of the counter. They are what makes the job so interesting and rewarding and even fun.”

How have things changed in town over the years? “While the population might not have grown, the town certainly has, while still maintaining that small town feel where everybody knows everybody and everything.”

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? “I have been bitten by the travel bug and have already been to a few places I never expected to see, but ... I would love to see Washington, D.C. and Canada.”

Where have you traveled to lately? “I went to Iceland and took a cross country trip and visited quite a few national parks. There are more parks I want to see and plan on another cross country trip.”

Will you still be spotted around town? “I will still be around, you can’t get rid of me…I love attending the grandkids’ events; I am at that point where it is truly enjoyable to watch them…if they play/perform well, great, and if they don’t that’s OK. I just love seeing them and their parents.”

If you could have lunch with anyone who would it be? “I would love to have lunch with my sister Susan. She died 28 years ago after the birth of her son, Mark, and I would just love to know what she thinks of this amazing young man that is her son. Her husband has done such a fabulous job raising him, always with Susan in mind. I think Mark is a tribute to her being and her memory and that she would just adore him!”

— By Joan D. Warren


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.