BRIDGEWATER, Maine — When opportunity knocks, Amanda Dow answers.
Having spent the last eight and-a-half years as the town manager of this community of 612 residents, Dow wrapped up her municipal career this week and will start a new job Oct. 25.
“I’m going to work for Maine Revenue Services in Houlton as a tax examiner,” said Dow, 30. “I live in Hodgdon, so not having to commute as far every day will be nice.”
The board of selectmen has run advertisements for the position, which also includes the duties of treasurer, tax collector, town clerk and general assistance administrator. Applications were due to the Town Office Oct. 22 with interviews to begin shortly.
At a special board meeting last Wednesday night, it was decided that Pat Lenentine, deputy clerk, will fill in at the office handling the day to day activities in her current capacity until a suitable replacement for Dow is found.
In discussing her departure, Dow said, “I love the job here, I love the work; it’s a wonderful community … there’s so many wonderful people which is one of the good things about these small communities, but I’ve been on a register with the state for a few years now. I wasn’t actively seeking employment, but this opportunity arose and I decided to take it. It’s closer to home and there’s a great benefit and retirement package that’s available with it, as well, which you don’t always have with the small towns.”
Another advantage to working in the Shiretown is having more time for her children, Braden, 6, and Marissa, 5.
“I have two young kids that are involved in everything, so I’m going to be a lot more accessible to them. My new job won’t involve working nights whereas being the town manager, there are a lot of long hours … you’ve got meetings, elections, etc.,” said Dow. “We’ve been working a lot with the planning committee trying to get a new building in town and have been actively seeking grants. All of that has added to the time that we spend away from home during the evenings.
Dow highlighted some of the accomplishments during her tenure.
“We built a town office, we’ve looked for grants for a new community center, and successfully went through a revaluation in 2007 that lowered the mill rate for a couple of years,” she said. “We also implemented a computerized receiving and bookkeeping system. Everything was manually kept before I came and then we got everything up-and-running with computers. That was a big step for the town.”
Dow said it’s been a pleasure working with residents.
“I’ll miss the townspeople a lot,” she said. “They’ve called and stopped in and have given me hugs and well wishes, and that makes me feel really good.”