AUGUSTA — Barbara Wardwell, city clerk for the last 12 years, retired last week, and the city has hired a Turner woman, who is currently deputy state registrar, to take on the clerk’s job.

Roberta Fogg, 50, who has previously worked as a city clerk in Auburn and Belfast, starts July 25.

Wardwell, of Litchfield, was honored upon her retirement at a recent City Council meeting and praised by current and past city officials including three ex-mayors: William Dowling, Justice William Stokes and, by letter, state Sen. Roger Katz.

“City clerks, like umpires in baseball, most people only notice their work when you’re screwing up, not when you’re doing good,” Katz said. “But we did notice. It was clear this was more than a career for you. That you poured in your heart and soul. And there has been a friendly atmosphere at City Center, which you engendered. I hope, as you enjoy your first free summer, you’ll reflect upon how much you’re appreciated.”

Wardwell said the job has been “thrilling and challenging.” She came to the clerk’s job from a career in banking. She started on the job Jan. 20, 2004, and had a city council meeting, at which the clerk is responsible for recording and documenting the actions taken by councilors, that same night.

“I’m going to miss everybody. It’s going to be hard,” Wardwell said. “But the time has come.”

City Manager William Bridgeo said Wardwell has “been a top-notch city servant,” putting in late nights and hard work for the city.

Current Mayor David Rollins said Wardwell has always been prepared and reliable in conducting city business, elections and at council meetings, and has been very helpful in educating candidates and voters on the election process, a process which can seem complex to those not familiar with it.

Ward 2 City Councilor Darek Grant said conversations with Wardwell always brought a smile to his face and also seemed to put other people in a good mood. He said she also kept the council “as organized as possible.”

Tracy Roy, deputy finance director, will serve as acting city clerk until Fogg comes to work for the city.

Fogg said she knows of Wardwell as a very well-respected clerk who did a wonderful job in the city.

Fogg, who has worked for the Maine Center for Disease Control as deputy state registrar since 2011, was city clerk in Auburn from 2010 to 2011 and in Belfast from 1997 to 2010.

“I enjoy the variety and interaction with the citizens,” she said of what interested her in returning to a city clerk’s job in Augusta. “I’m looking forward to getting back into municipal government and the opportunities it brings for learning new things. And networking with my peers. I’m really excited about working with citizens and co-workers in Augusta.”

Her salary will be $69,500 a year, according to Bridgeo.

She has a long-term boyfriend, two adult sons, and several grandchildren.

Bridgeo said Fogg “comes with a wealth of direct experience and was deemed by the selection committee to clearly be the most qualified and best suited for the position.”

She doesn’t start until July 25, Bridgeo said, because she gave a one-month notice before leaving her job with the state.

Keith Edwards — 621-5647

[email protected]

Twitter: @kedwardskj

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