WATERVILLE — When City Clerk Arlene Strahan retires Jan. 13, residents will see a familiar face in her office.

Patti Dubois, Waterville city clerk from 2001 to 2004 and Bangor city clerk the last seven years, is returning to her former job at City Hall.

Besides trimming her hourly commute to Bangor down to about five minutes, Dubois, of Winslow, said she relishes being back in Waterville.

“I think it’s great, taking over for Arlene, because she taught me how to be a clerk,” Dubois, 48, said Tuesday in the office she is sharing with Strahan until Strahan retires. “If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be a clerk.”

When Dubois became Waterville city clerk the first time around in 2001, Strahan was deputy clerk — a job she had held for many years under clerk Linette Dostie — and she showed Dubois the ropes.

When the Bangor job came up in 2004, Dubois applied and was accepted, and Strahan took over as city clerk.

“It was fun,” Dubois said of the Bangor job. “It was challenging. It was busy. I learned a lot, so I bring a lot more knowledge and experience back here to Waterville. I was traveling from Winslow for seven years, so it’ll be a lot easier.”

Strahan, meanwhile, said she has enjoyed her job as clerk and will miss both the public and the people with whom she worked at City Hall.

“I am excited and sad — mixed emotions,” Strahan said Tuesday. “I have enjoyed it very much. The people I have worked with have been fantastic, including my election workers. I’m seriously going to miss them.”

City Manager Michael Roy said the city will miss Strahan, but welcomes Dubois’ return.

“It’s kind of a bittersweet thing for us because Arlene is leaving after all these years,” Roy said. “Obviously, that’s the bitter part — the sad part. On the other hand, the good part is Patti’s coming back, so we feel very comfortable and confident that Arlene’s work will continue with Patti being here.”

Roy said he became city manager the same week Dubois left for the Bangor job. He calls hiring Strahan for the position one of the best decisions he has made as manager.

“We’ll certainly miss Arlene’s infectious personality,” he said. “She’s always been upbeat, good-natured, always willing to help … Patty is experienced, she’s knowledgeable about this area, she’s got a wonderful personality.”

Strahan, 65, of Winslow, said she plans to spend time with her grandchildren after she retires.

She said her youngest grandchildren are 7 and 3. “I missed out on spending a lot of time with my oldest grandchild (now 16),” she said.

Besides having been co-workers, Strahan and Dubois have been friends for many years. A 19-year Waterville city employee, Strahan also was deputy town clerk in Winslow from 1980 to 1992.

Dubois held other positions in Waterville before she became city clerk in 2001.

She was administrative assistant to the assessor in the late 1980s and then went to Bath for three years to work as assistant assessor; she then returned to Waterville and became administrative assistant in the Public Works Department before becoming city clerk.

She will work with Deputy City Clerk Joyce Tillson in their offices at City Hall.

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]


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