BELFAST, Maine — City Clerk Roberta Fogg has spent the last 13 years making sure that Belfast’s municipal business has run smoothly — and in absolute accordance with the rules.
Now, Fogg is stepping down to bring her no-nonsense manner to the city of Auburn, where she’ll begin a new position as city clerk on Monday, and some Belfast leaders are wondering how they’ll fill her shoes.
“She’s done a terrific job,” Mayor Walter Ash said Thursday afternoon at a goodbye party for her at City Hall. “We’re so sad to see her go.”
City Manager Joseph Slocum said that he has been scrambling to start a fast-paced search for a new clerk, an office that he described as crucial — and complex. Applications will be accepted until 3 p.m. Aug. 3, he said.
“Belfast is one of those communities that has seen tremendous positive change,” Slocum said. “[Fogg] should feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride in the role that she played making this city a better place.”
Councilor Marina DeLune agreed that Fogg will be missed.
“I think we’re going to have a hard time finding someone who’s as knowledgeable about all the rules and regulations and doing the right thing, and as competent and professional as she is,” DeLune said.
Fogg, who received a plaque from the city at the gathering, seemed to take all the adjectives used to describe her in stride. She said that she is looking forward to the challenge of clerking in a city that is more than three times the size of Belfast, but that she will miss living in this coastal community.
“Belfast is a wonderful place to live,” she said. “It’s one of the most diverse communities I’ve ever lived in. It’s very accepting, and there’s something for everyone.”
During her years working at City Hall, she said she has most enjoyed the chance to work directly with residents and visitors.
“I’m a hands-on clerk,” she said. “Customer service is really important to me.”
Fogg said she was also proud of the successful initiatives to develop a useful city website and to restore old vital records, which occurred on her watch.
“We’re charged as a city to protect the history of Belfast,” she said.
Now, decaying vital records books dating back to the 1890s have been preserved for future generations.
The outgoing clerk also wanted to share some words with Belfast residents and others.
“I want to thank all the citizens, my co-workers and the elected officials I worked with over the years,” she said. “They’ve been great. They’ve given me a lot of friendship and respect. It’s been wonderful.”