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Epping Town Clerk Linda Foley has decided to retire this year after 20 years in office. (JASON SCHREIBER PHOTO)

Epping town clerk to retire after 20 years in office

EPPING - Town Clerk Linda Foley has decided to retire after 20 years in office.

The 63-year-old Foley, who was appointed town clerk in 1992 and elected to the position in 1993, said she won't seek reelection in March.

"I thought it was time to let someone else do it. It takes a lot of energy and I don't have as much as I used to have," she said Wednesday.

While she'll be calling it quits, Foley, who also held the tax collector's position, plans to help out in the office one day a week during the transition. She'll be able to share her knowledge with her replacement, who will be elected when voters head to the polls March 12.

The filing period for candidates seeking office ends Friday. Those in the running for town clerk are Erika Robinson, deputy town clerk, and Grace Lavoie, chairman of the supervisors of the checklist. Robinson and Lavoie are also seeking the tax collector's position, along with Robin O'Day.

As she prepares to leave office, Foley said she will miss the clerk's job.

"It's been wonderful working with all of the people in town. I'll miss seeing them," she said.

There are parts of the job that she won't miss, however.

"There isn't anything more stressful than a presidential election," she said, laughing.

Foley has seen many changes in the office since she took over.

So much of the job is now done by computer with more and more information being made available online.

"There were computers in the office when I started, but now everything is online and we've just started talking credit cards. That's a whole new experience," she said.

Foley has no big plans for her retirement.

"I'm just looking forward to more downtime and, obviously, when it's good weather, there are lots of things to do around my home," she said.

Those who have worked with Foley praised her for her dedication to the town.

Administrative Assistant Joyce Blanchard described Foley as the "go-to" person whenever anyone had a question at the town hall.

"When I first started, it was my first job working full time since I had stayed home with the boys. I'll admit to being scared, having to juggle home and work, but she must be the most patient person I have ever had the pleasure to meet. She never got angry at the mistakes I made or judgmental. She never expected me to do anything that she didn't do either," Blanchard said.

When Blanchard would talk too long with customers, she said Foley would "gently clear her throat as a hint to me to move along."

Blanchard said Foley taught her to be calm with disgruntled customers.

Town Administrator Gregory Dodge said Foley was always mild-mannered and handled the demands of the office well.

"She is thorough, orderly and always willing to contribute in any way she can. She has made positive changes to the office both in technology and expansion of hours to better serve people," he said.

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