Registrar resigns after more than 50 years on the job

Beacon Falls Republican Town Committee Chairman Michael Krenesky, left, recognizes Helen Mis July 18 at the Beacon Falls Senior Center. Mis resigned last week as Republican registrar of voters after more than 50 years in the position. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — After more than half a century as the town’s Republican registrar of voters, Helen Mis resigned last week.

Mis announced her resignation following the Beacon Falls Republican Town Committee caucus July 18, three days after submitting her resignation letter to committee Chairman Michael Krenesky.

Mis said she chose to resign because she was unsure how long she would continue as registrar and “couldn’t think of wasting $1,600 tax dollars for classes to become a certified registrar.”

Several years ago the state required registrars, who are overseen by the secretary of the state, to become certified. Mis never went through the process to get certified. The town’s Democratic registrar, Katherine Grace, is certified.

Mis’ resignation brings an end to a registrar run that lasted 52 1/2 years, a stretch that local officials believe made her the longest continuously serving elected official in the state.

“I am humbled and extremely grateful to the Beacon Falls Republican Town Committee for endorsing me all those years and I’m proud to say I was never challenged for that position,” Mis said.

Joyce Krenesky, who was a deputy registrar, took over the duties of Republican registrar for the remainder of Mis’ term. The position is up for election in November 2020. She isn’t certified, but the state affords time for registrars to get certified, according to officials.

Mis is now the deputy registrar. The position doesn’t need to be certified, officials said.

Krenesky, who is also a selectman, said it’s unheard of today to find someone who would commit their time for 52 years to an elected position.

“We start talking about the whole certification process that’s sitting out there for the [registrars of voters], she wrote the book,” he said.

He said there are few people across the country that have shown the same level of commitment as Mis, regardless of position.

“There’s really no way to give the kind of appreciation that we need to to Helen, to the service that she’s provided the community,” he said.