Chebeague Island seeks replacements for town clerk, deputy clerk

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CHEBEAGUE ISLAND — The town is seeking replacements for its clerk and deputy clerk, who left at the same time as the annual influx of summer residents approaches.

The town is accepting applications through Friday, May 25, for a municipal clerk/tax collector, a 40-hour-per-week position, and for a deputy clerk/office assistant, who would work an average of 16 hours each week.

Chebeague is also seeking a three-quarter-time public services worker and part-time bookkeeper, according to townofchebeagueisland.org.

Susan Campbell, town clerk since the island gained independence from Cumberland in 2007, left May 11 to work at the Dropping Springs lobster co-op in Portland, she said Monday.

Her deputy and fellow Chebeague resident, Peggy Jones, also left that day and is in the process of moving to Alaska, according to David Hill, chairman of the Board of Selectmen.

Cheryl Buxbaum, a Chebeague resident who worked for a long time with the town of Cumberland, is filling in during the search for replacements, Hill said.

While operations have run relatively smoothly, “the big change, of course, comes as our summer residents start to return,” he said. “Then the office gets more busy.”

“Both Susan and Peggy have been instrumental in helping to get the town started and off on the right foot, and they’ll both be missed,” Hill added.

Town Administrator Eric Dyer on Monday said that despite short notice of the two departures, “we’ll be able to … get back on track really quickly, I think.”

Hill said Campbell had talked of staying through next month’s Town Meeting, “but this other opportunity came along, and we’re happy to see her take advantage of it.”

“It was a good experience for me,” Campbell said of her time as clerk.

Recalling the beginning of the town, she said, “I remember somebody telling me that when we walked through the door that we made history.”

Dyer said the clerk and deputy clerk positions tend to be closely tied. Jones felt that connection and had been looking to move off the island, Dyer said, and “saw this as an opportunity to make a fresh start.”

He said Campbell did “a tremendous job for the town, and getting us on our feet,” and that the work she has accomplished has made the transition to the next clerk easier.

Dyer said the town has received “quite a few” applications so far, “so that’s been reassuring. … We’ve had a good person for the past five years, and we want to find the right person to continue with the town.”

The town office has reduced hours during the transition period, Dyer said: Monday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursday from noon to 8 p.m.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @learics.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.