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Easton Gathers to Celebrate Clerk's 90th Birthday

EASTON, Conn. – Carl Mlinar is a man of many titles in Easton. He is variously known as a human computer, "the rememberancer" and, of course, the former town clerk. On Wednesday, Mlinar was simply known as the birthday boy as state and town officials gathered together to celebrate his turning 90.

Mlinar was first elected as the town clerk in Easton on Nov. 8, 1955 at the age of 34. He served consecutively for 43 years until 1989.

Walk into the town clerk’s office today and it is a far cry from what Mlinar is used to. He never used computers; he always kept track of important documents in his head and wrote everything down by hand.

“He was a fountain of information, kept impeccable records without computer help, and provided first class service to all residents. His astounding memory often seemed to provide information about you before you even knew it yourself,” current Town Clerk Derek Buckley said.

That fountain of information is why Buckley believes Mlinar is the epitome of the “rememberancer.” The role of the town clerk dates back to ancient times - the literal Hebrew translation of a municipal clerk is “the city or town reminder,” Buckley said/ Mlinar told residents the things they needed to do and kept track of or any important documents that needed to be filed, even before they knew themselves, he said.

“He knew everything about everyone in Easton,” Buckley said.

Buckley said Mlinar loved everything about Easton and that love was reciprocated in a few decades ago when, Buckley said, the entire town of Easton refused to vote on the municipal budget until Mlinar received a pay raise from the town.

“If that isn’t a testament to this man, than I don’t know what is,” Buckley said.

Mlinar, who spent his entire life in Easton, was surrounded by friends and family at the Senior Center, many of whom brought presents and several birthday cakes. While town officials showerd him with praises, Mlinar was quiet and offering smiles and giggles to those sharing stories of his past.

Many officials who celebrated with Mlinar recalled the first time they met the longtime town clerk. First Selectman Thomas Herrmann said when he first bought his home in Easton in the early 1980s, he walked into the town clerk’s office and was greeted by Mlinar, who immediately knew who Herrmann was, where he lived and that he was planning on registering as a Republican in town.

“Carl’s unbounded knowledge of Easton’s past and present has been an invaluable resource for reporters, students and professional researchers alike,” Herrmann said.

During the birthday bash, Herrmann declared Dec. 21 Carl Mlinar Day in Easton. During his proclamation speech, Herrmann called Mlinar a “pillar of professionalism and non-partisanship.”

Westport Town Clerk Patricia Strauss was also on hand to give Mlinar a proclamation on behalf of the Connecticut Town Clerk’s Association for his 43 years of service. Strauss reminded everyone that Mlinar kept track of every town meeting minute, military discharges, property changes and marriage licenses “all transcribed by hand.”

“Which is why many have said he is the closest thing they have ever seen to a human computer,” Strauss said.

State Sen. John McKinney was also on hand at the party, even giving Mlinar a citation on behalf of the Connecticut General Assembly in recognition for his many years of service to the town.

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