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Jaffrey

Town to lose two veteran employees

  • Jaffrey Public Library Director Joan Knight will retire from her position this July.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Jaffrey Public Library Director Joan Knight will retire from her position this July.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Jaffrey Public Library Director Joan Knight will retire from her position this July.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)
  • Jaffrey Public Library Director Joan Knight will retire from her position this July.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Alyssa Dandrea)

JAFFREY — The town is slated to lose two of its longtime employees in the coming year: Jaffrey Public Library Director Joan Knight and Town Clerk Maria Chamberlain.

Knight, who will retire on July 15, has worked as director of Jaffrey’s library since 1996. Chamberlain has served the town for the past 25 years and will be relocating out of state prior to the 2014 Town Meeting, according to Town Manager Dave Caron.

Jaffrey has begun its search for a part-time deputy town clerk, who will train under Chamberlain and assume the full-time responsibilities of town clerk after Chamberlain’s departure, Caron said Wednesday. At Town Meeting next March voters will elect a new town clerk for a three-year term.

“We don’t know when Maria is leaving as of yet, but we want to make sure we have someone who is trained in place so that town services aren’t interrupted,” Caron said.

The Select Board recently authorized the additional part-time position of deputy town clerk, which will be vacated once the deputy is promoted to town clerk, Caron said. The increased cost to the town will be dependent upon when that transition happens, he said.

Chamberlain, who was out of the office this week, could not be reached for comment by press time Wednesday.

As the town continues its search for a deputy town clerk, the Library Trustees began its search this week for a new director for the Jaffrey Public Library.

Tuesday, Knight said she will be sad to say goodbye after 17 years as the library’s director, but is excited about her future.

“It’s just time,” Knight said of her decision to retire. “I feel like I’ve done a lot of things and I want to have time to take part in new adventures.”

The support that the residents have showed the library throughout the years has made her job most enjoyable, Knight said. People of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds and ages have used the library’s resources and return regularly, she said.

Knight said she is proud of initiatives to enhance Internet accessibility at the library, so that people who don’t have Internet access at home can still conduct job searches and do research.

Expanding the library’s puppet collection was a fun task that Knight said has benefited local children, who can borrow the puppets and take them home.

“When a community takes advantage of a resource, like the library, that’s great to see,” she said.

Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228 or adandrea@ledgertranscript.com. She’s on Twitter at @alyssadandrea.

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