SORRENTO — Customers of the Sorrento town office who use the office’s walk-up window, which was set up due to the coronavirus pandemic, have been greeted by a new face since Jan. 4.
Birch Harbor resident Kathi Moore is the town’s new clerk. Moore explained in a recent interview with The American that the position is a combination of clerk, treasurer and “jack of all trades.” The town does not have a town manager.
Like most things these days, Moore’s recent employment was influenced by COVID-19. Moore, who grew up in Ellsworth and has lived in the Gouldsboro area, moved to Florida last year following the retirement of her husband, Roger. Then the pandemic hit. “No one could visit us,” Moore said. “We missed seeing grandkids and family.” So, the couple packed up after a year in the Sunshine State and came back to Maine.
Upon their return, Moore began her employment search at the end of last September. The town opened its search for a new clerk the following month, said Board of Selectmen Chairman Rob Wilpan, following the departure of David Nichols, who held the position for about a year. Prior to Nichols, Esther Clement was town clerk for over 30 years before her retirement in 2019. Clement also worked as the town’s treasurer and registrar of voters, Moore said.
“Running a town office is much more complicated than people realize,” Wilpan said. It requires working with several state agencies, managing accounts and participating in trainings, he explained. “Esther was familiar with all that, and that was great,” he said. “We got plenty of applications from around the Northeast,” Wilpan added. None of the applicants had experience working as a town clerk, including Moore, Wilpan said. But Moore’s knowledge of computers and working in an office “really takes us to the next level,” he said.
“I have worked in an office ever since I was 18,” Moore said. “I have accounting, insurance [and a] payroll background,” which includes working as a bookkeeper at the Corea Lobster Co-op for seven years. “[It’s] always good to learn new things,” she added.
With Moore as town clerk, Wilpan said he will continue working on the rollout of a new website for the town. The updated site has “been in the works for several years, unfortunately,” Wilpan said. “I’ll have more time to get that up and running.” Additionally, Moore will be able to use her knowledge to help with the rollout.
The town office is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 1 to 6 p.m. on Thursday and from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday.
Moore said customers can continue to access services online at Maine.gov, including registering vehicles.