CHESTERVILLE – Patricia Gordon has provided service to the people of Chesterville for 22 years.

During that time, the town clerk has watched the town’s year-round population grow from about 800 people to 1,170 at last count, or about 46 percent. Her responsibilities have grown with it.

Seven ponds and camps along the shores draw summer residents to the rural area, increasing the population even more. The quiet town with its breathtaking views is convenient commuting to Augusta and Lewiston.

“I think it’s an attractive location,” Gordon said.

The phone rang in her office and she picked it up. She rattled off information about a vehicle transfer for a resident before saying goodbye. Gordon knows the laws: “You can’t do this job without it,” she said.

She grew up in Industry and graduated from Farmington High School in 1964. She raised two children and lived in Chesterville prior to moving to Temple, where she currently lives.

Besides her town clerk duties, she’s also tax collector, general assistance administrator, registrar of voters and 911 coordinator.

For many years, she was elected to her position but that changed in 1996 when the town moved to an appointed clerk.

“The job required more hours at that point,” she said, “and I just didn’t want to run for office every year. It was a hassle.”

She has gone to multiple workshops, tax schools and other classes to earn certification as a certified town clerk and tax collector.

“It’s a profession,” Gordon said. “You like to be recognized as a professional in your field; you like to work it to keep up with your profession.”

She stays on top of the new laws that affect the town and townspeople.

“When I started 22 years ago, I used to work about 10 hours a week at the old town hall and I also did a lot of work at home,” she said.

People used to come to her home at times in Chesterville, when the town hall wasn’t open.

In 1989, the town acquired the Chesterville Elementary School, which was renovated into a new town office. A large classroom was divided into two offices with the town clerk’s office in one and the selectmen’s office in the other.

“It was the first time really we had offices per se and a real toilet in the building,” she said.

She laughed as she recalled birds getting into the old outhouse and flying around inside.

Now, there is also a large meeting room and a kitchen in the building. Behind the building is a ball field and a pad for a basketball court. Next door is the fire station.

The phone rang again, she answered the person’s inquiries, lightly tapping an envelope as she talked before hanging up. Her office is light and airy, decorated with hanging plants. Her computer and typewriter are easily accessible.

She took an adult education computer class and got hooked, she said, and continues to add to her knowledge.

The most challenging part of the job, she said, is when it’s extra demanding like in the summer months when she’s trying to juggle so many things at once.

She has gotten to know the people as they stop in the office and knew the voice of one of her callers right away.

On her off time, Gordon enjoys cross-country and downhill skiing, kayaking and sewing.

“I like most everything about this job; it’s a variety,” she said. “I like working with the public. I like to work independently.”

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