Falmouth's 'extraordinary' deputy clerk earns statewide honor

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FALMOUTH — As the deputy town clerk, Linda Case does a little bit of everything and her job involves a lot of multitasking.

But that’s what she said she enjoys the most: the variety.

From serving residents at the counter to assisting the town clerk with elections to serving on various boards and committees, Case said her job is just great.

“I couldn’t just sit behind a desk,” she said.

It’s probably why she was named the Deputy Town Clerk of the Year by the Maine Town and City Clerks’ Association earlier this month.

Case has been on the job in Falmouth for the past five years and was nominated for the award by Ellen Planer, the town clerk.

In her nomination letter, Planer said, “There is no question that the customer always comes first” with Case.

“She is always willing to come in early and stay late,” the letter added. “No matter how busy (she) is with her own job responsibilities, she is always available to help her co-workers and help with additional responsibilities and tasks.”

In the letter, Planer said that Case is not only popular with the staff at town hall, but also with residents.

“That is evident from the letters of thanks and praise I have received from the people she has helped.”

Case is also always receiving a token of appreciation from the public, Planer said.

It’s not uncommon, for instance, for baked goods such as whoopie pies and cookies to be delivered in the clerk’s office, according to Planer, and Case has also received flowers from grateful customers on more than one occasion.

Planer included two examples in her nomination letter of how Case goes above and beyond.

On Dec. 28, 2012, less than a year after she was hired, Planer said Case willingly opened the clerks’ office at 11:30 p.m. to process marriage licenses for same-sex couples who wanted to get married as soon as it was legal.

On another occasion, Planer said, Case was driving through town when she saw “a confused dog in the middle of the road. She pulled over, put the dog in her car (and) drove to town hall to locate the owner through the dog (license) database.”

Both Planer and Case readily admit that on paper she might not have been the most logical choice for deputy town clerk. That’s because she had no prior municipal experience.

However, in her nomination letter, Planer said Case had all the qualities she was looking for, including treating “each customer like they were a good friend walking into your home.” She also praised Case’s “warmth and welcoming attitude (toward) everyone who comes through the door.”

What Case likes most about her job, she said, “is the people. They’re awesome and this is just such a great community.”

Town Manager Nathan Poore also wrote a letter in support of Case’s nomination for Deputy Town Clerk of the Year, saying that she “stands out as an extraordinary clerk based on her quest for knowledge and dedication to providing exemplary customer service.”

Prior to joining the Town Clerk’s Office in Falmouth, Case worked in retail for 21 years, including managing the Day’s Jeweler in Brunswick for five years. She remembers clocking a lot of hours, especially during the holidays.

So, when the opportunity came up to have a more regular work schedule and “have a life and some balance,” Case jumped at the chance. She also credits her father with encouraging her to take the leap.

Case remembers that she interviewed for the deputy clerk job the Monday after her father’s funeral, but admits to not remembering much of what she said that day. Case lives in Standish and has two grown children and one grandson, whom she calls “the love of my life.”

Case didn’t know she’d been nominated for the Deputy Town Clerk of the Year award and said, “It was a total shock, I’m still on cloud nine. I can’t put into words just how much this means to me.

“To win the award the first year I was eligible is so humbling and I so appreciate it.”  

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

Linda Case, left, won the Deputy Town Clerk of the Year award recently from the Maine Town and City Clerk’s Association. She was nominated for the award by Ellen Planer, Falmouth’s town clerk, right.