MONSON, Maine — After 25 years of service to the town of Monson, including the last eight as town manager, Julie Anderson is resigning.
“I think it’s the right time,” said Anderson, who turns 61 this year. “I want to spend more time with my family. This job really consumes your life.”
The Monson Board of Selectmen is advertising Anderson’s job as a 35-hour-per-week position, but she said that it’s difficult for anyone in a management position to maintain a strict schedule.
“They’re also discussing ways to cut back the office staff’s hours. I think you may see some serious changes down the road,” she said.
Anderson’s current salary is $33,000 a year.
The Monson native started as a part-time clerical worker and in 1992 was appointed town clerk, a position which also included the duties of assistant tax collector and assistant treasurer.
She took over as interim town manager for six weeks in 2006 when Robert Nicholson resigned, and was hired for the position in December of that year from a field of 19 applicants.
Anderson and her husband, Tim, also operated the Monson General Store for several years. They leased the business for a time, but “things didn’t work out as planned,” Anderson said. “We’re going to put the building on the market this spring.”
Although she’s leaving the town office, Anderson won’t retire from public life.
“I’m still going to be involved with the historical society, the community center and the Summerfest,” she said. “But now I’ll have more time.”
Anderson said she’ll miss her coworkers and the other town employees, and said she is still “optimistic about the town’s future.”
Monson was incorporated in 1822 and attracted many Scandinavian immigrants who worked in the quarries or built farms. The Finnish Farmer’s Club attracts hundreds of people each year to enjoy music and traditional dancing.
Monson Elementary School closed several years ago, but the building was transformed into a community center and rental space for several small businesses. Public suppers and live entertainment are frequently held at the center.
The population of Monson is 686, according to the 2010 census.
In 2012, Monson became Maine’s first Appalachian Trail Community, citing the town’s hospitality toward hikers on the last 100-mile leg of the 2,100-mile trail.