Viktoria Wood , left, is Chebeague’s new town administrator and Christine Auffant is the new town clerk. Contributed / Viktoria Wood

Making Stone Wharf safer and updating the island’s public safety building are at the forefront of issues to be addressed by Viktoria Wood, the newly appointed town administrator for Chebeague Island.

“I want to steer the town in the right direction. We’re a new town,” Wood said, referring to the island’s secession from Cumberland in 2007. “We don’t have the background and history as a town that many others do. We’ve made a lot of positive progress since we’ve been a town. I’m eager to help improve it in any way we can.

The Board of Selectmen appointed Wood on Jan. 1 to replace Justin Poirier, who resigned to become Monmouth’s town manager, according to Select Board Chairperson Donna Damon. Wood, who since 2017 had been the island’s town clerk, has a two-year contract with a starting salary of $66,500 for the first sixth months. Pending a favorable performance review at that time, her salary will increase to $68,500. Poirier ended his tenure with an annual salary of $72,000.

Christine Auffant, who was Wood’s deputy clerk, will take over as town clerk with an annual salary of $47,840.

Wood said one of the biggest issues on the island is upgrading Stone Wharf, where the ferry from Cousins Island docks on the northern coast of Chebeague.

“It’s been a subject that has constantly come up,” Wood said, “so I hope in my time as town administrator we can make more progress towards accomplishing something down there.”


Dredging is scheduled to take place between Stone Wharf and Cousins Island in February and March after an environmental engineering company determined the wharf is stable enough to withstand improvements, including being raised 2 to 3 feet to combat rising sea levels.

Other issues Wood hopes to address include renovating the island’s public safety building and paving roads that are in disrepair.

Wood was adopted from Russia when she was 12 by Chebeague residents Stephen and Beverly Johnson. After growing up on the island and graduating from Greely High School in Cumberland, she lived off-island for about 10 years. She returned in 2014 before her oldest daughter started school so she and her husband could raise both their children on Chebeague.

Auffant spent her summers on the island with her two sons and her husband for 20 years. Five years ago, they made it their permanent home and she took a job as the deputy town clerk. She and Wood worked together as town clerk and deputy clerk for about five years.

For Auffant, day-to-day tasks, including marriage licenses, car registrations are key parts of her job. Auffant will also be responsible for keeping the minutes and posting agendas for Select Board meetings.

“These positions have to do with serving the community,” she said. “We know all of our customers pretty well and it’s nice to be able to help them with car registrations and whatever else they need.”

Wood said she and Auffant have a good working relationship.

“We’re such a small office and we all work really well together,” Wood said. “I think that’s one of the reasons that Chris and I have been able to work here for so many years, because we get along really well and make a great team.”

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