Meet Amherst Town Clerk Cheryl Tonero

Amherst Town Clerk Cheryl Tonero and her husband, Louis, moved to Amherst with their two young daughters in 1983. Cheryl has been the town clerk since 1997. (Brian Swartz Ellsworth American)

Amherst Town Clerk Cheryl Tonero grew up in New Jersey and met her husband, Louis, while working there at a Pontiac dealership. Her maternal grandparents lived in Aurora, and “my parents were moving up here” at the time, Tonero said.

Married in 1974, Cheryl and Louis had two daughters (the youngest was six months old) when they moved to Amherst in 1983. Cheryl “was an Avon rep for 15 years, and I was the postmaster relief for 20 years over in Aurora.” Louis worked in the shop at Town Auto Sales and as an EMT with County Ambulance in Ellsworth; an Army Guardsman in New Jersey, he transferred to a Bangor-based Maine Army Guard helicopter unit, with which he did a tour in Bosnia.

Louis had previously served in Vietnam with a Marine Corps helicopter squadron.

When Town Clerk Carolyn Jones died, Cheryl Tonero was her deputy and also “totaled the tax books and the financial ledgers” when asked by the selectmen. She won election as town clerk in 1997. Re-elected every year since then, Tonero will step down when her present term expires on June 30, 2019.

Tonero works from her home and handles vital statistics (births, deaths and weddings), issues dog licenses, takes the minutes at selectmen’s meetings, and, as registrar of voters, oversees elections.

“Fishing and hunting licenses are done over at the Amherst General Store,” owned by Ralph Jordan, she said.

Cheryl and Louis raised their daughters in Amherst, where “I’ve made many friends,” Cheryl said. “They’re willing to help out. We have really like living here. We’re out in the country; it’s quiet here.”

Years ago she taught classes with Pat Larson through the Cooperative Extension and later became involved in Hancock County 4-H and volunteered as a Girl Scouts’ troop leader.

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