Cambridge town clerk retires after 26 years of service

Posted March 07, 2011, at 2:13 p.m.
Last modified March 07, 2011, at 2:55 p.m.
CAMBRIDGE, Maine — When Clara Watson became town clerk 26 years ago, a marriage license cost $10. Today it’s $40.

Watson has witnessed many changes over the years, but it was the technological ones that prompted her not to seek re-election Saturday at the annual town meeting.

‘’Everything was going more or less computerized, and I know nothing about computers,’’ she said Monday.

Residents gave Watson a round of applause.

“I thought 26 years was long enough and I think it’s time somebody else took over,’’ Watson said. In earlier years, Watson’s late mother, Helen Burdin, also served as town clerk.

About 60 people attended the meeting and approved all of the funding articles, but residents reduced the amount to be funded from property taxes. Town officials had recommended funding $158,246 from taxation, but that would have exceeded the property tax levy limit. Residents, however, reduced the amount from taxation by $25,000, eliminating the need to increase the limit. The $25,000 difference will be taken from the highway reserve account and $5,000 from the dam repair account. It was suggested that fundraising efforts be made to restore those two accounts.

Ronald J. Strouse, William Digby and Ronald Watson were elected as selectmen. They also will serve as road commissioners with mileage as their compensation. Carol Laplant, administrative assistant, was elected town clerk.

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