CARIBOU, Maine — Caribou City Council recognized six outgoing employees during Monday’s council meeting for their service to the city.
Mayor Mark Goughan said the city has had a bit of turnover in staff, and wanted to congratulate the outgoing employees. He asked Caribou City Clerk Jayne Farrin, who was among the six outgoing employees, to say a few words on behalf of four outgoing Caribou election workers/ballot clerks — Claudia Hitchings, R. Claire Randolph, Carolyn Kelley and Roberta Walton. These four women have served the city for 10, 12, 24 and 32 years, respectively, and Farrin is retiring after 13 years with the city.
Walton was awarded with a plaque thanking her for more than three decades of service to the city, and outgoing clerk Jayne Farrin commended the four outgoing election workers/ballot clerks for their hard work and dedication.
“They supervise the incoming voting list, check voters off the list, oversee the ballot box and ensure that voters deposit all their ballots in the box,” she said. “They count ballots in teams of two, and they perform other duties at the warden’s request. For July 14, that included cleaning booths and pens, and counting voters going in and out of the gym.”
She said these workers are paid minimum wage, and the work they do is not easy.
“There are long days of standing, and paying attention to detail is required along with the ability to work a long day — 14 to 17 ½ hours. You’ve got to be as sharp at 8 p.m. as you were at 8 a.m. In Presque Isle, I served one two-year term as a ballot clerk and I failed. I was not sharp enough at midnight counting ballots.”
Caribou City Manager Dennis Marker then recognized Farrin for her service to the city.
“She’s been with us for 13 years, and I’ve been honored to work with her for the last three years I’ve been here,” he said. “I definitely appreciate her professionalism and competence. I know she’s one of the few personnel around the state that people look to; people look up to her for all of her expertise. We’re happy for her that she can take on a new challenge in life.”
Marker then announced that the city would hold an open house for Farrin on Aug. 3, her last day, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the city council chambers with social distancing guidelines in place.
The council also voted to appoint Danielle Brissette as the city’s new clerk on Aug. 3.
The city manager asked Caribou Police Chief Michael Gahagan to speak about the final outgoing employee, Dwight Wilcox, who served on the Caribou Police Department for 16 years and has a total of 41 years of experience in the law enforcement field.
“He started his career in Presque Isle with the police department, and then went to Washburn for a year as the police chief, and then he realized that that wasn’t what he wanted us to do,” said Gahagan. “He went back to Presque Isle, and then we were fortunate enough to have him come to us for the last 16 years of his career. Dwight has been a dedicated employee for the citizens of Caribou and for The County.”