BUCKFIELD — Melissa Wolf, the town clerk for the past year, who worked under three town managers during her tenure, has resigned, effective immediately.

Wolf had offered to give a 30-day notice when she resigned Wednesday, but that offer was rejected the next day by Town Manager Lorna Nichols.

“Upon my arrival to the office yesterday, I was met with the town manager and chair of the Select Board (Cheryl Coffman),” Wolf said. “I was asked for my keys and told that I would not be allowed to work out my 30-day notice and would have to leave the building by 3 p.m.”

Reached at the Town Office on Friday, Nichols said she could not go into detail on a personnel matter, but said there was no animosity with the departure, adding that she has left jobs and was not allowed to work out her notice.

“That’s normal,” Nichols said. “It’s always better if you part ways.”

Wolf pointed out that Deputy Clerk Calley Baker, who had submitted her resignation earlier, is being allowed to work out her notice. She was originally expected to leave the first week of December, according to Wolf.

“Calley has extended her notice several times,” Nichols said. “She has stayed on as long as I’ve needed her.”

Baker, in fact, will stay on as acting town clerk until the town hires a new one, Nichols added. The town clerk and deputy town clerk vacancies have both been advertised.

Wolf came on board late last year following the sudden resignation of longtime clerk Cindy Dunn after John Andrews’ appointment as town manager. With a rookie town manager and an untrained office staff, town business ground to a halt.

The office staff and a bevy of volunteers have worked overtime the past few months to get caught up posting all the data needed for the town audit. Wolf said it was her intention to make sure journal entries were accurate before her departure. She is frustrated that her 30-day notice was not accepted.

“Due to the nature of the previous town clerk’s abrupt exit and the subsequent events, the accounting became a quagmire and that information has to be corrected for the sake of the FY21 audit and historical data accuracy,” Wolf said. “In the past few months I took the time to obtain the training I needed to make these corrections and worked with the contracted accountant the town hired, to learn how to make accurate the FY21 financial data. I made it clear when I resigned, that it was my goal to work with the town manager to accomplish these important issues, as she now is the treasurer and needs to be aware of the problems that took place prior to her starting date. I was the only person left that had been there since the day the previous town clerk left and thus, had the most knowledge to help get the problems resolved in a final effort to help the town I’ve served for a year.”

Despite her frustrations, Wolf says she is not disgruntled and it was her choice to leave at this time.

“I have been wanting to move on for some time and it was my choice to resign,” Wolf said. “I am finally and happily going on to pursue a job in education.”

She added that she would like to see more transparency by town officials on their decisions.

Nichols, who has been town manager for two months, said she feels comfortable where the town is and the work that has been completed in preparing for the next town audit. She’s not worried about where the town is or the direction that it is headed.

“We’re open for business,” Nichols said. “We’re doing business as usual.”

“Right now, we’re OK. I’m not panicked yet,” she added.

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: