CHELSEA — The newest town clerk for Chelsea — an office that has seen a lot turnover — comes with more than 17 years experience in the role.

Lisa Gilliam, 43, will finish her job as town clerk for in Winthrop on Friday and start in Chelsea four days later.

“It was not an easy decision to make,” Gilliam said Friday from her desk in the Winthrop Town Office. “Working here has been very rewarding. I’ve enjoyed working for the residents of Winthrop, and I want to thank them for making my working in their community very enjoyable for all these years.”

Gilliam, who lives in Randolph, said she will have only a five-minute commute to her new workplace. She also recently received a real estate sales agent license and the hours of the Chelsea job will allow her to work part-time in real estate. She said she will be affiliated with ERA Webb in Augusta.

“The council is very devastated, to be honest about it,” said Kevin Cookson, chairman of the Winthrop Town Council. “In 17 years she’s done a great deal for the community of Winthrop. Her experience, her knowledge, will be extremely missed.”

Winthrop is advertising for a new town clerk.

Gilliam will join Town Manager Scott Tilton and another part-time worker in the Chelsea office.

Tilton said Friday that Gilliam would also be deputy tax collector and treasurer, as he’s hoping she can take on some more responsibilities that have previously fallen to Tilton or others.

“I hired Lisa because of her experience and I’m looking forward to using that experience and enthusiasm,” Tilton said.

Gilliam said she looks forward to having good relationships with residents. “I think I’ll be a positive addition and helpful to them for to get back on track,” she said.

Chelsea has had a series of short-term clerks.

The previous town clerk, Cynthia Burnham, left in January after little more than six months on the job.

Burnham was hired in July after staff from the city of Augusta had to fill in for a few weeks following Flavia Kelley’s removal. Kelley took personal leave in May and selectmen chose not to re-appoint her after her position had expired.

Kelley, who was hired in July 2010 , replaced Tammy Cunningham, who was hired in January that year.

Before that, Judy Jones left the post in 2009 after 4 1/2 years.

“Stability would be good,” Tilton said of Gilliam’s hiring. “There’s no doubt in my mind she’d be able to handle everything I throw at her.”

Betty Adams — 621-5631

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