NEW GLOUCESTER — When Barbara Seaver clears off her desk at the New Gloucester Town Hall on Sept. 4, she will complete 30 years of service as the town’s deputy town clerk, deputy tax collector, assistant treasurer and registrar of voters.
On Wednesday, Sept. 2, the community is invited to honor Seaver at a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. at the AMVET Post 6 Hall on Route 100.
“When I started on Jan. 29, 1985, there were no computers. We typed everything — registrations and tax bills, for example. Everything was done by hand,” she said.
“Voting was done manually by counting ballots. In June 1993, we got our first machine to count (ballots) and were done within 30 minutes.”
Seaver recalls the last manual count for a presidential election; ballots were verified at 3:15 a.m. as volunteers and staff completed the task while assembled at long tables.
Between business at the counter and the telephone, Seaver shells out answers to the public with a cheerful voice and a smile. She deals with car insurance issues, registrations and a lengthy list of other town duties.
“What I love is to see (the cycle) of a baby born here, get married, and see generations of families grow over time,” Seaver said.
Over the years, she has worked for six town managers: Wayne Cobb, Jim Bennett, Bill Cooper, Rosemary Kulow, Sumner Field and now, Paul First.
“There are fewer employees now in the office,” she said. “It’s the more you do, the more you learn. It’s really on-the-job learning.”
Over the years she has been a member of the Cumberland County Clerks Association, which she calls “the club.”
“I will miss the training classes, annual meetings, election conferences. My last day officially on the job will be Sept. 4. How appropriate for me: Labor Day weekend,” she said.
Seaver grew up in New Gloucester to farming parents, Lowell and Barbara Brookings. She was born, educated, married and continues to live in town.
“There were 30 farms when my parents bought the farm on the Intervale Road. My father was one of three men in the state to do artificial insemination with cows. My mother taught in schools,” said Seaver, one of six children — five girls and one boy.
She and her husband, Scott, are the parents of a blended family of adult children and 10 grandchildren.
Seaver said her retirement plans include volunteer work and helping her mother, who is the oldest citizen in New Gloucester and holder of its Boston Post cane.