After 31 years, Lucille Griffin passes deputy clerk torch

 

 

OUTGOING DEPUTY CLERK LUCILLE GRIFFIN and Casco Town Manager Dave Morton have worked together in three different town offices over the past 30-plus years. Griffin has retired; and a retirement celebration party is being held for her on Jan. 25. (De Busk Photo)
Retirement Party
What: Retirement Celebration Party for out-going Town of Casco Deputy Clerk Lucille Griffin
Where: Casco Community Center, 940 Meadow Road (off Route 121 in Casco Village)
When: Thursday, Jan. 25, 6 to 8 p.m.
Snow date: Friday, Jan. 26, 6 to 8 p.m.
The public is welcome

By Dawn De Busk

Staff Writer

CASCO — Lucille Griffin had enough skills on her job application to be hired for a part-time position in the 1980s.

A few characteristics — other than knowing where things are in the office and how to use them – factored into Griffin landing the fulltime position as Casco deputy clerk in March 1987.

According to her boss of 31 years, Griffin is always kind to the residents who come into the town hall. Another plus has been Griffin’s strong roots in Casco.

“It has been helpful to have somebody who actually grew up here and lived here,” Casco Town Manager Dave Morton said.

“She has a lot of history in the town. She knew a lot of people and that helped make people comfortable coming in, seeing a face they recognized,” he said.

“She is quite compassionate dealing with folks; she very much wants to help people. That was typical of her work. She had it in her mind to help folks,” he said.

She was an excellent employee to have interacting with the public, Morton said.

Griffin “retired” on the last Friday of December. The flyers for her retirement celebration party have been tacked on bulletin boards and also posted on Facebook by the Casco Recreation Department. It takes place next Thursday, Jan. 25, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Casco Community Center.

Despite those facts — a retirement behind her and a party coming up — Lucille is still been a presence at the town office for the past couple weeks.

It is a transitional period for her.

On Tuesday, there were bags of personal items leaning against the wall of the room she still referring to as “my office.” That afternoon, she was answering questions from staff at the front counter.

According to Griffin, one absolute ‘must’ for working in a small-town office is knowing how to do a variety of transactions.

In retrospect, “this has been a nice job,” she said.

Over the past three decades, the Casco Town Office has had three different locations. The office went from being inside the old Casco Community Center — which was torn down and rebuilt — to the cramped quarters of a temporary space behind the fire station. About 10 years later, Griffin was part of the move from the temporary town office to a new Town Hall a few hundred feet away.

“It has been a pleasure to work in the new office. The new town office has lots of space,” Griffin said.

Griffin did not view being deputy clerk as overly exciting or glamourous or unusual. After all, every municipality around the state of Maine has one, she said.

“It’s just what every town office does — the day to day work,” she said.

The typical routine might include helping people register vehicles, snowmobiles, or ATVs, or license their dogs with the town. At one time — until an outside agency was hired to handle it, Griffin did the interviews for the General Assistance applications. For years, every other Tuesday night, she took notes at selectmen’s meetings, recording the motions and votes.

Thankfully, Griffin’s retirement celebration is not a surprise party.

Town staff Janet Ver Plank was assigned the job of organizing the get-together.

“I had just to plan the place and the food,” Ver Plank said.

“The place is the Casco Community Center; and the light refreshments will be provided by Kindred Spirits Bakery and Market,” she said.

“The date is Jan. 25, Thursday, from 6 to 8 p.m.,” she said, adding “the snow date is on Friday, the same time.”

“Just come and reminisce, share stories, and visit with Lucille. People should stop in and visit Lucille — she’s been deputy clerk for 31 years,” she said.

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