Said and Bolduc vie for job as Androscoggin County register of probate

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Brian Bolduc

Political affiliation: Democrat

Address: 54 Riverside Drive, Auburn

Why do you want to be the register of probate?

I want to be register of probate because I want to continue to build on my background as a public servant. I’ve never been afraid to step up to bat and put my name enthusiastically on the ballot. While this position is much less political than serving in the legislature, it is still a very important job that needs to be done, and it’s my hope that I can continue to serve my community in a new capacity that is much less political but still elected.

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What skills do you bring to the job?

The register of probate position requires a great many skills but I think the most important are organizational abilities. The register of probate needs to make sure all the legal documents regarding wills, adoptions, guardianships and name changes are filed correctly to ensure a smooth legal process for the court to operate under. Interestingly enough, having earned a master’s degree in education from the University of New England and gaining teaching experience in our community will lend itself well to this new endeavor. Classroom management techniques are not at all dissimilar to the kinds of skills needed for this position. Organizing in a timely manner the court documents and making all families and court officers aware of how the process will proceed is very much like preparing and executing a good lesson plan.

The county probate office is one that most people have little contact with unless they are handling estate or custody issues or are getting a passport. What do you see as the role of register of probate?

On top of the technical aspects of the position of court register, there is also another important role to play. Many people who come to the court do not have the resources to hire legal representation. Many times, they are senior citizens who have worked hard their whole lives and are now on fixed incomes. I have represented the interests of our senior citizens my whole life in the legislature. These are the types of people I have helped get property tax and rental assistance paperwork filled out for and helped secure Meals on Wheels assistance or prescription medication assistance and many other state resources.

A court proceeding can be a very intimidating process and as register it will be my responsibility to watch out for the families coming before the court to deal with important and many times difficult issues like establishing guardianships for their parents in the twilight of life. Communicating with them and explaining to them how the court process will play out and assure them of the integrity of the process will be, I think, one of the more fulfilling and critical roles of the court register.

Joanna R. Said

Age: 50

Political affiliation: Republican

Address: 176 Bear Mountain Road, Livermore

Why do you want to be the register of probate?

Those coming into our office are often faced with difficult situations in their lives. When dealing with those situations, a friendly, caring face and a helpful attitude can go a long way to put people at ease, and to help them face the tasks ahead. I would be honored to be able to continue to offer the people of Androscoggin County my dedication, hard work, and my desire to make sure that the probate registry and the probate court in our county are managed with care, concern and with a commitment to integrity and efficiency in all aspects of our work. I believe that the position of register of probate deserves a serious commitment to the people of Androscoggin County, and to meeting the needs that are addressed in our court in a reliable and honorable manner. We have a good team assembled in the office currently, and I would like to both support their efforts and to do all that I can to improve the way the probate office performs its functions in the days ahead. This is why I would like to continue to serve the people of Androscoggin County as register of probate.

What skills do you bring to the job?

The skills I bring to the job of register of probate are courtesy, professionalism, respect for others and the importance of treating people with dignity; management and supervisory experience in the social services field for 12 years; detail-oriented, careful and committed to hard work and integrity; sensitivity toward people in the difficulties in which they find themselves, employing the golden rule; ability to deal with the public, with attorneys and with the probate judge; budgeting experience, a desire for efficiency, as well as for providing quality customer service to the public and recognition of the importance of following and upholding the law in the role of register.

The county probate office is one that most people have little contact with unless they are handling estate or custody issues or are getting a passport. What do you see as the role of register of probate?

The register of probate is the face of the probate court and registry in any county in Maine. The register deals with the public, both with assisting the judge in court and in answering questions in the office and over the telephone. They supervise the running of the office, preparing annual budgets for the management of the department, as well as weekly and monthly income and expense reports and ensuring that everything needed for the running of the department is provided. They are responsible for the selection, hiring, training and supervision of their staff; for delegating duties where appropriate, for assessing skills through daily interactions, and through annual evaluations of the deputy and clerks in their department. He or she has the power to probate wills, and to appoint personal representatives as provided in the law. The register has the duty to ensure that probate procedures are handled properly and to carefully preserve the records of all cases that occur in the county, including the old records that are in our custody. It is also the duty of the register to maintain the respect and dignity of the office where they have been given the privilege to serve. I see it as an office of public trust, and I am truly honored to be serving in this capacity now, and over the past several months here in Androscoggin County.

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