Seeking 'gift of time,' Smithfield Town Clerk Dianne Ady will retire

Seeking 'gift of time,' Smithfield Town Clerk Dianne Ady will retire

SMITHFIELD - Dianne Ady, town clerk for the past eight years who before that served as administrative assistant to the town manager and as the town's first human resources administrator, confirmed this week that she intends to retire Jan. 3 after nearly 15 years in municipal positions here.

As town clerk, Ady is responsible for thousands of municipal records including vital statistics and real estate transactions; licensing for everything from dogs to liquor establishments; and for dealing with estate issues and elections as clerk of the Probate Court and Board of Canvassers.

She said she is retiring a few days after she turns 62 because "I want to give myself the gift of time while I can still enjoy it."

Ady, the only department head who reports directly to the Town Council rather than the town manager, supervises three-full time employees and a budget that this year totals $246,000.

In 2004, Ady earned a master's degree in public administration from the University of Rhode Island, after enrolling as a full-time student two years before.

A native of Pawtucket who lived in North Smithfield for many years before recently moving to Smithfield, Ady also has an associate's degree in medical secretarial studies from the former Bryant College, now Bryant University, and a bachelor of arts degree in English, with an emphasis on teaching at the high school level, from Rhode Island College.

In 1988 Ady was a substitute teacher at Smithfield's high school and middle school, and for a time she also taught Shakespeare at Cranston High School West.

She also spent several years at The Providence Journal, first in promotions-public affairs, and later as a researcher on the night shift in the paper's news library, where she was often called upon to retrieve information quickly for reporters laboring on deadline.

Her Town Hall career in Smithfield began in 1995 when she became administrative assistant to then-town manager Jeffrey Minor and subsequently, Russell Marcoux.

Afterward, she signed on as human resources director in the Cumberland school system for a year before leaving to pursue graduate studies.

In 2005, after earning her master's degree and working for a time in Bryant's library, she successfully applied for the town clerk's post in Smithfield when M. Eileen Murray retired after a decade on the job. Ady's current salary is $64,500.

She was recently named Blackstone Valley vice president of the Rhode Island Town and City Clerks' Association by the group's president, Richard Goldstein, who describes her as "intelligent with a strong dose of common sense."

Smithfield's acting probate judge, Nicholas Gorham, said Ady is "extraordinarily competent - she has every issue covered, even some that you wouldn't anticipate as a judge or a lawyer."

Ady's husband, Paul, is an English professor at Assumption College in Worcester.