Harpswell voters will elect a tax collector and town clerk for three-year terms on March 12, with one choice on the ballot for each position.
Jill M. Caldwell is running for a three-year term as tax collector. She has 17 years of experience in the town office: eight as deputy tax collector and nine as tax collector.
Harpswell’s tax collector is responsible for the collection of more than $13 million in property and excise taxes. The tax collector handles registrations of cars and trucks, as well as boats and recreational vehicles. The office also processes first-time passport applications.
Caldwell grew up in Friendship and attended Medomak Valley High School before moving to Orr’s Island in 1974. She worked in the office at Elmhurst in Bath before joining the town staff. She enjoys the interaction with people, she said.
Catherine J. “Cathy” Doughty is running for the position of town clerk. (J.W. OLIVER PHOTO)
Catherine J. “Cathy” Doughty is running for a three-year term as town clerk. Doughty served as deputy town clerk from 2003 until her appointment as interim town clerk in August 2021, after the previous town clerk’s retirement.
The town clerk handles vital records, recording births, deaths and marriages. The clerk issues clamming, fishing and hunting licenses; dog licenses; mooring registrations; and dinghy stickers for the town dock.
The town clerk also supervises elections, a role enshrined in state law. The law charges clerks with administering absentee voting, training poll workers and reporting election results to the state, among other duties.
Doughty, of Orr’s Island, grew up in Phippsburg and graduated from Morse High School in 1982. She worked at L.L. Bean before landing a job closer to home at the town office.
She enjoys the job because “no two days are alike,” she said. She might issue a clamming license, register a mooring and perform a marriage on the same day. On one memorable occasion, a local couple came in for all three services on the same trip.
Couple who wed at the town office “just want something simple,” Doughty said. She performs weddings outside when the weather permits, and her co-workers chip in as photographers and witnesses.
The election will take place at Harpswell Community School from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on March 12. Absentee ballots are available.