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UPDATED: Hope hires new town clerk, bookkeeper

By Daniel Dunkle | Feb 11, 2021
Courtesy of: Town of Hope Robert Menas is the new Hope town clerk.

Hope — The Select Board confirmed Feb. 9 the hiring of new town bookkeeper Tina Murray and new Town Clerk Robert Menas.

Menas started Feb. 10 and Murray begins work Feb. 17.

Asked about his previous positions, Menas said, "All of my positions in the past have involved service to others. From serving as a house manager in a sobriety home to managing a team of 20-25 agents in a call center. I have served as a counselor and bridge-builder. Respect, empathy, understanding and empowering others to find the better angels of their nature."

He also said he is involved in the local community through priestly ministry in the Anglican/Episcopal tradition.

According to his resume, he previously worked for Midcoast Recovery House from April 2020 to the present.

“As a Recovery Residence Manager I oversee daily operations of the Recovery Residence,” he said in the application to Hope. “This includes managing and coordinating daily housekeeping tasks, leading weekly ‘House Meetings,’ conducting inspections, and making arrangements for random drug testing. Counseling and conflict management. Mentoring, leadership development and teaching.”

He was a census take from June to October of 2020.

He was an account executive at SS&C Technologies in Rockland from July 2018 to June 2020.

He was also a business development specialist for Compass Rose Events in Boothbay and a billing supervisor for Comcast in Harrisburg, Pa.

He also worked for Circuit City in Virginia and Bank of America in Maryland.

Under education, his resume states: "High school or equivalent."

Mank said the town received 17 resumes for the Town Clerk position and 13 for the Bookkeeper position.

"Of the 30 resumes received, only one had prior municipal experience," she said.

The Town Office has seen turnover in the past year. In January 2020, Town Clerk Chelsea Summers left to take a job as assistant town administrator in South Thomaston.

That same month, Summers' sister Alexenia "Allie" Payor was hired as the Hope town clerk.

Questioned Nov. 18 about whether Payor and Summers are related to Town Administrator Samantha Mank, Select Board Chair Sarah Ann Smith said, “Chelsea and Allie's Uncle, with whom they have little/no contact, used to be married to Samantha's ex-husband's sister. Sam has very limited contact with that ex-sister-in-law. That means they are NOT related to Samantha.”

Payor resigned in September.

Mank issued a statement on Feb. 10 welcoming the new staff and expressing thanks for the help others had given to the town:

“The Town of Hope experienced real mutual aid when the Town Office was without a Town Clerk or Bookkeeper following Mr. (Langley) Willauer’s dismissal and the sudden resignation from Ms. (Alexenia) Payor.

“Several Towns sent members of their own staff to provide aid at the Hope Town Office. Those Towns and staff included: Kayla LaCombe from Lincolnville, Theresa Haskell from Windsor, Rebecca Hapgood from China, Chelsea Summers from South Thomaston, Melinda Rowlands from Morrill and Erica Tompkins from Somerville. I am very thankful for the help these towns and people offered Hope.

“David Herrick has been serving as our interim Town Clerk since October after reading the October 12th article in VillageSoup.

“David was formerly a Town Clerk in Princeton, Maine. He has since retired and moved to the Midcoast to enjoy his retirement closer to family. I am incredibly grateful that David made the call to help and that he brought much experience and kindness with him.

“David also took part in the interview process and will provide on-the-job training for Hope’s newly appointed Town Clerk, Robert Menas.

“David’s time in Hope is expected to end in two to four weeks. He has agreed to come back from time-to-time so fill in and to assist with elections.

“The Select Board appointed Catrina Murray to the Bookkeeper position last night. Her first official day on the job will be Wednesday, February 17, 2021.

"I am looking forward to this new chapter and working with the new staff."

New bookkeeper

Catrina "Tina" Ober Murray of Rockport has a degree in business from New England College in Henniker, N.H., according to her resume. She has worked at Merrimack Mortgage Co., the Institute for Global Ethics, Bangor Savings Bank, Samoset Resort and Bank of America.

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