Elected the Great Pond Town Clerk in 1997, Joan Archer became the tax collector and treasurer after Sandy Cross stepped down in 2004. She is the administrative assistant at the Airline Community School in Aurora. PHOTO BY BRIAN SWARTZ

Small town, many hats for Town Clerk Joan Archer

At Great Pond, Town Clerk Joan Archer wears many hats.

“My father was in the Air Force, so I grew up all over the world,” Archer said. Her parents hailed from Kennebunk, and her father retired from the military in time for her to attend Kennebunk High School for four years.

Earning an education degree in art at the University of Maine, Archer “worked in southern Maine as an art teacher” and “met my husband, Reggie, in the Portland area. He was from the Great Pond/Bangor area.” The Archers moved to Great Pond in 1982, and Joan worked as the art teacher, librarian and building aide at the Airline Community School in Aurora.

Reggie earned a master’s degree in education. His work took the Archers away for some years; then “we made the decision to come home” and look after their aging parents, Joan said. The Archers worked a few years at the venerable Mace’s Store in Aurora, and Joan was hired as the ACS administrative assistant.

Elected town clerk in 1997, she also became the tax collector and treasurer after Sandy Cross stepped down in 2004. Located in a wood-framed school built in the 1850s, the town office is open two nights per month; residents stop by to conduct business with Archer or to attend the selectmen’s meetings, which start at 7 p.m.

“It is a challenge to balance all” her municipal job responsibilities, Archer said. The town clerk and tax collector are separate elected positions, so her name appears twice on ballots cast in the town’s annual election.

Also the registrar of voters, Archer oversees elections, all held (as are town meetings) in the town office. Great Pond has around 44 registered voters, and 20-22 “turn out for state elections,” she said. “Just about everybody turns out for presidential elections.”

For the Nov. 6, 2018, election, the voter turnout in Great Pond was the highest in Hancock County at 84 percent.

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