Topsham hires new town clerk, deputy tax collector

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TOPSHAM — The Board of Selectmen on June 19 unanimously appointed two employees to the roles of town clerk and deputy tax collector.

Town Clerk Ruth Lyons, who retires June 30 after 22 years on the job and was named clerk of the year last year by the Maine Town & City Clerks Association, has been both clerk and deputy tax collector. Her duties will now be shared by two long-time employees.

Linda Dumont, Topsham’s General Assistance director since 1994, will become town clerk and continue her GA role in a part-time capacity. Ed Bobalek, who joined the town in 2003 as an assistant tax collector/clerk, and is now deputy clerk, will become deputy tax collector.

Selectmen confirmed Town Manager and Tax Collector Rich Roedner’s appointments of both candidates to the new positions, and also voted to create Bobalek’s new position as separate deputy tax collector.

“We had interest from in house,” Roedner said. “… Linda is very interested in the clerk’s position, so that made since, and Ed is very good with all the financial (duties), all the taxes, and collections and liens … he does a lot of that under Ruth right now. So it made for a good fit.”

Roedner noted that both Bobalek and Dumont had been working in Lyons’ office and that “both have great skills with those different fields. … They both have longevity with the town, they’ve got the capabilities to do those functions. So it didn’t make sense to go out and look for somebody new.”

Both employees will be paid $25.56 an hour, Roedner said.

Lyons, who plans to run this fall for the Board of Selectmen, said Friday that it is good when the town hires from in-house.

Dumont, 55, is married and has a daughter, and lives in Topsham.

“I think (the job) will be interesting,” she said. “I like working with the townspeople. … I have a passion for people.”

Dumont added that she is honored that Roedner and the selectmen “have the confidence in me to offer the position.”

Bobalek, 44, who also lives in Topsham, has a daughter and son.

“I’ve always liked numbers and math, and the primary job function in here is collecting the money, and that went well, so it was just good timing,” he said.

Bobalek said he, too, is honored by the appointment, and to have the support of both Roedner and the board.

“I feel very fortunate,” he said. “It’s been a pleasure to work here. … The people here in Topsham have been very pleasant to work with.”

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

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Ed Bobalek

Linda Dumont

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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.