Carol Cochran has been the Weld town clerk/tax collector for some 45 years. Submitted photo

WELD — Carol Cochran began working for the town in March 1976 and while some things have changed considerably, her willingness to go above and beyond haven’t.

In the 45 years since, Cochran has served as town clerk/tax collector. The position was elected annually until 2013 when voters changed it to three-year appointed terms.

“I was 2 ½ when she started working for the town,” daughter Chris Cochran said. “I am so proud of all her hard work and dedication to our town. It has not been easy and there has been a lot of changes in 45 years!”

During the town meeting in 2016, which was its Bicentennial, Carol was presented with flowers and a plaque for her service to the town.

“I said then, ‘Weld is a little over 200 years old and for almost a quarter of that time there’s been a Carol involved,” former selectman Tom Skolfield said Monday, April 5.

“She’s been a Godsend,” he said. “We’re lucky, fortunate, not sure what the words are. She has institutional memory that’s phenomenal.”

For years Cochran did the town’s business from an office at her home on the Dixfield Road.

Even though there were set hours, she was available 99% of the time, went out of her way, Skolfield said.

“She still does since the Town Office/Post Office complex opened 21 years ago,” he said. “You don’t see that kind of service too often.”

There are many examples of Cochran’s work ethic and dedication, according to Selectman Chair Richard Doughty.

“She is always the first one in the office, she is always available from home,” he said Monday. “Just last week she worked from home rather than take time off after surgery. She has always been friendly and helpful.”

Members of town government come and go, but Carol has stayed, Doughty said.

“Whenever I wonder about how to do something involving town government, regardless what it is, I ask Carol,” he added.

Cochran is also the Registrar of Voters, a Notary Public and Dedimus Justice, treasurer Colleen Stewart said recently.

“Carol has been a wonderful mentor and co-worker over the past 10 years,” she said. “Carol is not only a joy to work with but an endless source of knowledge of the Town and its heritage.”

Cochran is active in the Weld Historical Society and Webb Lake Association, former selectman and school board representative and current ballot clerk Laureen Pratt said Tuesday.

“She’s amazing, she doesn’t stop, she’s just a great person,” she said. “The town would be lost without her.

“Carol knows it all. She’s got a mind, can remember everything. She keeps people informed on what’s going on and sends out postcards to remind when registrations are due.”

Cochran is a stickler when it comes to voting, Pratt said. It has to be proper, like clockwork, she added.

Innovative is another word Pratt used to describe Cochran.

When costs to print the annual town report rose, Cochran figured out a way to do it, Pratt said while referring to Weld being recognized in Maine Municipal Association’s 2020 annual reports contest.

“Mike and I think the world of her,” Pratt said.

When Cochran began her duties, there wasn’t as much to it, former selectman Henry Coval Conant said.

“You couldn’t get automobiles registered, she has had to grow with the job,” he said. “She has always been there, continues to go in after hours if someone forgets something.

“She’s meant so much to the town over the years that it’s hard to pick one thing,” Conant continued. “She knows everybody.”

Because she wasn’t in the office, Cochran was not contacted for this story.

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