CANTON — The Select Board held an emergency meeting via Zoom on Thursday to accept Town Clerk Angela Varnum’s resignation, who cited an unhealthy work environment, lack of support and lack of professionalism among reasons for her decision.

Her last day of work is Monday.

Varnum has held the position since May 2022 when she succeeded Carol Buzzell, who resigned after more than three years.

In her letter of resignation, Varnum wrote that “working for the Town of Canton has been an unhealthy work environment since nearly the day I started.

“I now very clearly understand why it is a rotating door at the Town Office for reasons to include: lack of communication, lack of consistency, lack of support and lack of professionalism. Unless the majority of this current Board is willing to change the way they operate and treat people the rotating door will continue to spin.”

In her closing comments, Varnum thanked board Vice Chairwoman Michelle Larrivee and Kristi Carrier for their support to her while working in the office. She also thanked members of the community and employees “for being so welcoming.”


Besides Larrivee and Carrier, Chairman Brian Keene, Carole Robbins and Rob Walker participated in the meeting.

Responding to a request for comments about Varnum’s letter, Larrivee wrote, “In this process we learned that combining the Town Clerk and the Treasurer positions is a lot for one person. We are addressing this by splitting the responsibilities up between a full-time Town Clerk and a part-time Treasurer position.

“We will be offering Angela an exit interview to gain more insight and feedback regarding where we can improve as a board now and in the future,” Larrivee said. “As a board, we will then meet to work on these concerns such as improving our communication and consistency, so all town employees and volunteers feel supported and valued.”

During their meeting, selectmen decided Deputy Clerk Aaron Lashua will serve as interim town clerk until someone is hired for the permanent position. A full-time town clerk and a part-time town treasurer will be advertised on the Maine Municipal Association website, Indeed, and in the Sun Journal within days, selectmen said.

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