Gardiner City Clerk Kelly Gooldrup, left, works behind a Plexiglas wall Friday while helping Kyle Johnson register a vehicle in Gardiner City Hall. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

AUGUSTA — The city has hired a new, new city clerk, who is currently filling that role for the city of Gardiner.

Kelly Gooldrup, Gardiner’s city clerk since 2018, is expected to start as Augusta’s city clerk Aug. 17, filling a key spot in Augusta while creating a likewise key vacancy in Gardiner.

Augusta officials thought they had filled the vacant clerk’s position in May, when Patti Dubois, Waterville’s city clerk, took the job. But after a week on the job, Dubois decided it wasn’t a good fit for her and returned to her old job in Waterville.

So Augusta officials offered the job to Gooldrup, whom City Manager William Bridgeo said was the runner-up for the job when Dubois was hired following a statewide search. He said Dubois was the first to be offered the job due to her more extensive experience as a clerk.

City Clerk Kelly Gooldrup, seen Friday at Gardiner City Hall, will be joining Augusta’s city government Aug. 17. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Gooldrup agreed to take the job and Bridgeo expressed confidence she’ll do a great job.

“I think it’s going to be a very good fit,” Bridgeo said. “We’re very very happy Kelly has agreed to come on board.

“There will be a bit of a learning curve, it’s a bigger position, with more supervisory authority,” he added. “But I think she’s a good choice and I see Kelly as a mature, stable, capable professional, and I have a very good feeling we’re past the point of transitions in the clerk’s office.”

Gooldrup, 42, lives with her husband in Benton, though they plan to move into a house they’re building in Vassalboro.

She said she has no complaints about Gardiner and she took the Augusta job because it presents an opportunity to further her career.

“I was looking for more opportunity and it’s a great city. I look forward to growing with the team that’s over there,” Gooldrup said. “Everyone in Gardiner has been very supportive; with training and everything, it has been great here. I appreciate everything they’ve done for me. It’s just time for a change.”

Dubois leaving after only a week on the job did give her some pause about taking the Augusta job. But, Gooldrup said she learned more about why Dubois made that decision and now has no concerns about taking on the role. She said she has great respect for Dubois and wishes her well.

Gooldrup will be paid a salary of $77,625.

Gardiner City Manager Christine Landes said it’s disappointing to lose Gooldrup because she’s been great for Gardiner, but she’s proud to see her advance her career.

“We were certainly very happy to have her as part of our team; she’s a pleasure to work with,” said Landes, who started on her job in Gardiner within a couple of weeks of Gooldrup starting there. “We’re super sad to see her go, but super happy for her to make this changeover and professional advancement. I’m very proud, very happy, for her.”

Gardiner has already posted the clerk’s position and Landes hopes to fill it as soon as possible, especially with November’s presidential election looming on the horizon and city clerk’s duties including oversight of elections.

In the meantime, she said the remaining front office staff in Gardiner is highly capable and will take on additional duties until a new clerk is hired. A former municipal clerk herself, Landes said she can also help out with those responsibilities.

Bridgeo, who had Landes as a student in government administration classes he teaches at University of Maine at Augusta, said that if Gardiner needs assistance from Gooldrup after she starts on the job in Augusta that could be accommodated.

Bridgeo praised Tracy Roy, Augusta’s deputy director of finance and administration, for capably “doing double duty.” Roy was acting clerk while the city sought a new one, and oversaw the July primary elections.

In February, Augusta also hired Tony LaPlante, Gardiner’s former public works director, as deputy public works director.

When Dubois left the Augusta job, Bridgeo said one factor in the job not being a good fit for her was that it included not just city clerk, but also tax collector and deputy treasurer duties, while the Waterville job is exclusively a city clerk role.

While Gooldrup’s job in Gardiner did not include the treasurer’s role, she was deputy tax collector both in Gardiner and in her previous job in Norridgewock.

She said she enjoys that kind of work and is not concerned about adding treasurer and tax collection-related duties in Augusta.

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