Photo via the WInchester Democratic Town Committee website.
Photo via the WInchester Democratic Town Committee website.
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WINSTED — Sheila Sedlack, who has served 21 years as town clerk and eight years as an assistant town clerk, announced on Wednesday, March 24 via email that she has decided not to seek re-election in November.
Sedlack wrote that she will retire at the end of her term on December 31.
In an interview with The Winsted Phoenix, Sedlack said that she started working at Town Hall as an assistant town clerk back in 1992.
“Previous Town Clerk William Riiska called me one evening and asked if I wanted to temporarily work in his office filling in for an assistant town clerk who was out on leave,” Sedlack said. “At that point, I was not working and I was looking around for a job. Knowing the town and knowing Bill, I said yes. It was the best career move I have ever made.”
Eight years later in 2000, Sedlack was elected as the full-time town clerk for Winsted and has been re-elected at every municipal election ever since.
She said that organization has always been a big part of being a town clerk, but another part of it is preserving history.
“We have a tremendous amount of information in this office, and this information is precious and valuable,” Sedlack said. “I never want to see it destroyed in any way. I shouldn’t use the word ‘destroyed,’ but I want it all to be cared for. I restored a lot of records during my time in office that are now preserved for history. That was very important to me because I love history and I love the history of the town.”
This is why she pointed out to the Winsted Phoenix that she is not the longest-serving town clerk.
According to Sedlack, the three town clerks who served the longest were John Boyd who started in 1831, C. Wesley Winslow who started in 1916, and Elithac Alvord who started in 1782.
Also, Sedlack pointed out that during her tenure she has worked for a total of 11 town managers (12 when Joshua Kelly starts as Town Manager in April), along with seven mayors.
As for advice to the next town clerk, Sedlack said that whoever comes in next must have a love for the history of the town, along with preserving and restoring records.
“I think that type of a topic falls by the wayside when we talk about town clerks,” Sedlack said. “We think of vital records and land records. But a big part of being a town clerk is preserving documents. This includes keeping them orderly and having a process where we work with other departments. We always try to help other departments as well including the tax collector, the assessor, and the finance department.”
As for what she would like to say to the residents she served for nearly three decades, Sedlack said “It’s been my privilege and honor to serve this community. Winsted is such a fine group of people.”
Sedlack is married to Board of Selectman member Steven Sedlack, who has been on the board since 2014.

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