Portland hopes to have new city clerk by spring

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PORTLAND — The City Council could hire a new city clerk by April, filling the position responsible for running elections, recording council actions and overseeing vital records keeping.

Linda Cohen left the job at the beginning of the year, following a 10-year run during which she was credited with improving election operations and restoring public trust in City Hall.

The city is accepting applications for the job, which pays as much as $93,600 a year. Applicants must be a certified clerk of Maine or a certified municipal clerk under the International Institute of Municipal Clerks.

The clerk is also the city’s registrar of voters, takes official minutes at City Council meetings and runs the clerk’s office.

“We’re already receiving applications,” city spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said this week. Applications will be accepted until March 1. They will then be reviewed by the council’s Appointments and Non-Union Personnel Committee with help from the Human Resources Department.

The committee, led by Councilor John Coyne, will also conduct interviews and eventually recommend a finalist to the full council. Councilors Kevin Donoghue and Cheryl Leeman are also on the committee.

Clegg said the council hopes to complete its search by the end of April.

The city is also looking for a new city manager to replace Joseph Gray, who will retire at the end of this week.

The city clerk, city manager and corporation counsel (city attorney) are all City Council appointees. Other city jobs are the responsibility of the city manager to fill.

Cohen became Portland’s city clerk in 2001, following 12 years as the clerk in South Portland. She now plans to work in real estate sales.

The acting city clerk is Katherine L. Jones, who was an employee under Cohen.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net

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