Biddeford City Clerk Carmen Bernier, shown here at the city’s polling station on June 14 with Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows, is retiring after 28 years with the City Clerk’s Office. She’s agreed to stay on through Nov. 8 to assist with elections. City of Biddeford Photo

BIDDEFORD — City Clerk Carmen Bernier is retiring after 28 years with the City of Biddeford.

All of her tenure with the city has been with the clerk’s office, and she has served as city clerk — the head of the department — since 2007.

Bernier, who married in March, said she is retiring to spend more time with her husband, Gerald “Jerry” Bernier.

“We want to be able to enjoy our time together,” she said in a telephone interview on Sept. 19.  The couple plans to travel and eventually build a home at Kennebunk Pond. They are also looking forward to spending time with grandchildren — her husband has four granddaughters and, said Bernier, she hopes to have grandchildren too, one day.

Bernier is the individual in Biddeford city government who administers oaths of office; oversees management of the records of births, marriages, and deaths; prepares for and presides over Biddeford elections, including registering voters, overseeing the process of certifying nominations papers for those seeking elected office, and other related tasks; prepares City Council agendas and packets, takes minutes at council meetings, and is also head of the city’s General Assistance Office. As well, she prepares budgets for the City Clerk’s Office, elections and for the General Assistance Department.

Currently she has a staff of seven — five in the City Clerk’s Office, and two in general assistance.


While she submitted her resignation Sept. 6, with an effective date of Oct. 6 — the mandatory 30 days’ notice, she said  city officials asked her to help with elections.

“I’ll do that,” she said, and so she will be coming into the office to prepare for the election and will be at the polls on Election Day, as usual.

She was hired 28 years ago as a counter clerk by then-City Clerk Clairma Matherne and later became manager of the City Clerk’s Office. She was appointed city clerk by Mayor Wallace Nutting in 2007.

“I have had the pleasure of serving as Biddeford’s city clerk for the past 15 years, and I would not have changed any part of my civil service career,” Bernier said in her retirement letter to Mayor Alan Casavant.

Asked what she enjoyed the most about her job, Bernier said, “the interaction with citizens as well as fellow employees.”

Biddeford spokeswoman Danica Lamontagne said the city has begun recruiting for a new city clerk.

According to an advertisement for the position at the Maine Municipal Association job board, the city is looking for candidates with a degree in public or business administration or other applicable field, and with three to five years of experience as a city clerk. The listing noted that any combination of education and experience that provides the equivalent knowledge, skills and abilities will be considered. The listing pegged the salary range at $75,000 to $100,000 annually, plus benefits. Biddeford’s city government operates on a four-day work week.

“(We) will be moving forward with adding the new addition to our team as soon as possible,” said Lamontagne.

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