Sherri Cox serves Gouldsboro as both town manager and town clerk, reporting to the town’s five selectmen.
Originally from Harrington, Cox graduated from Narraguagus High School and studied outdoor recreation and management at the University of Maine at Machias. She worked for a while for her aunt, Amy Graham, who owned Graham’s Restaurant in Machias, and then worked as a Bangor Hydro-Electric meter reader and bill collector from 1991 to 2005.
Having taken some classes through the Hydro, Cox returned to UMM in spring 2005 and graduated three years later with a bachelor’s degree in business management; her concentration was in small business management. Cox worked at different jobs until her appointment as Gouldsboro’s deputy town clerk in July 2016.
Leaving a while later to work in the finance department at Wyman’s of Maine, she returned in January 2018 as manager of the Gouldsboro town office. When the dual town manager-town clerk left shortly afterward, selectmen offered Cox that position; she took over in March 2018.
Almost immediately Maine Department of Environmental Protection officials arrived and informed Cox that Gouldsboro needed to build a salt/sand storage building, not a budgeted item that year. The town recently constructed an appropriate structure supplied by Rubb Building Systems.
As happened with other Hancock County municipalities in 2018, “our recycling costs went through the roof,” rising from the budgeted $80 per ton to a stunning $137 per ton with the town’s May 2018 bill, Cox said. After selectmen voted to stop curbside zero-sort recycling, the town bought household compost bins that residents can use.
Last year Gouldsboro “finished our gorgeous new (town) park and sidewalk,” the latter built along Main Street from the Peninsula School to the Dorcas Library to “make it so much safer for children” walking to and from school, Cox said.
With the closure of a longtime Ellsworth-based ambulance service, Gouldsboro formed Schoodic 50, an ambulance service staffed by trained EMTs and equipped with two ambulances. This service started on Sept. 3, 2018.
Cox and the selectmen also addressed the fact that “it had been a while since we’ve done major road maintenance,” she said. Selectmen appointed Jim McLean to the new position of superintendent of town infrastructure, responsible for working on ditching and bushing and determining what repairs should be done on specific roads.
McLean is also the town’s code enforcement officer and E-911 coordinator.
Working with Cox in the town office are office manager Deanna Workman and deputy clerks Sue McLean and Brianna Mitchell. The office is busy; encompassing the villages of Birch Harbor, Bunkers Harbor, Corea, Prospect Harbor, and South and West Gouldsboro, the town has some 1,750 year-round residents, and the population swells above 2,000 as seasonal residents arrive.
A Prospect Harbor resident, Cox enjoys “hiking, being outdoors. I camp with my family,” including her daughter, Amy, enrolled at the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone.
“We have such gorgeous places here,” Cox said. “I’ve hiked (West) Quoddy Head in the summer, taking the coastal trail and coming back the inner route.”
Her family has a camp off Route 9 and another one, built by her great-grandparents, at Grand Falls Flowage in Baileyville.
“This is a great little town,” Cox said. “I like living here. I love the diversity of the people. There are so many people who come here for the beauty of the region; I like to hear their stories of how they found their way here.”