By Scott E. Kinney, Atlantic News Staff Writer
Atlantic News, Friday, October 7, 2005
[The following article is courtesy of the Atlantic News]
HAMPTON -- A familiar face is now absent from the town office building.
After 14 years of service, Administrative Assistant Karen Anderson is packing her bags for a new destination as town administrator of Greenland.
Anderson said she wasn't actively looking for the job and had actually turned down a job in Greenland a year ago. She spent her final hours as a Hampton town employee on Tuesday.
Anderson has been the administrative assistant for the town since December 1991, after serving as the planning board secretary in Seabrook.
"That was my introduction to municipal government," she said.
The job has changed significantly over the span of a handful of town managers and several selectmen. She began by handling correspondence and selectmen's minutes, but quickly began taking on more responsibilities.
"As the various managers saw the talents that I have they gave me more and more responsibilities, and I loved that," said Anderson.
Now, in addition to those initial jobs, she has also handled town reports, human resources, and Channel 22, and fulfilling other needs of the town manager as they arise.
The big difference between her new job and the one she is leaving: "Rather than preparing the decisions of others," said Anderson, "I'll be making those decisions myself."
Anderson also pointed out that Greenland is among the few towns in the area that does not fall under SB2. They still utilize the traditional form of yearly town meeting for governance. Anderson said she has experienced those meetings in the past and enjoys them.
Anderson said there are aspects of the job that has become "like home" that she is going to miss.
"The people in the community have been just phenomenal since my leaving was announced," said Anderson, who accepted the Greenland job on Monday, September 19. "I didn't realize what an impact I've had."
Replacing Karen will not be an easy task, said Town Manager James Barrington.
"Karen has left some big shoes to fill," he said. "I envy them (Greenland). She has been such an influence on so many lives and in so many positive ways. I hope she's not a stranger around here."
Anderson said just the other day workers at Caffé Fresco in Hampton were asking if she would still stop by for her morning coffee.
"I'm not going to be a stranger," she said, "and I thank all of the Hampton residents for their support and encouragement."
[Atlantic News Photo by Liz Premo]
[Atlantic News Photos by Liz Premo]