For the past 30 years, builders seeking permits at the Gorham Code Enforcement Office have been greeted with a familiar face and smile.

Angela Fall, a code administrative assistant, retired Oct. 4 and asked to do so quietly.

“It’s possible I would have become emotional,” she said on Monday.

Her love for the town she lives in and the people she’s worked with has only grown since joining the code office in 1993.

“I’ve worked with the best close-knit group in years past and I’m happy to say we all stay in touch,” Fall said, and one of the best aspects of her job was helping the residents, business owners and family farmers.

Code Enforcement Officer Freeman Abbott worked with Fall for 18 years.


“She was not only a co-worker, she was a friend. We are part of each other’s extended families,” Abbott said. “She had a smile most of the time.”

David Cole was the town manager when Fall began her duties in Gorham. Town offices were at 270 Main St. before relocating to 75 South St.

She was interviewed for the job by a panel of three – Cole’s Executive Assistant Jeri Sheldon, Assessor David Sawyer and Code Enforcement Officer Mark Mitchell.

“I was a bit intimidated and not prepared for a panel,” Fall recalled. “I remember being asked what was the hardest part of municipal government and without hesitating I said, well, the re-val.”

Fall had previously worked for the town of Shapleigh where she had been involved with property revaluation.

“I think that tipped it for me because Gorham was in the middle of one,” she said.


The code office and assessing departments worked closely back then, and still do in Gorham even though the county now oversees the Assessing Department, she said. She worked a few months for Mitchell and then 16 years for his successor, Clint Cushman, who she remembered as “a character.”

As for amusing incidents, she said, “There was a time where there were many, many pranks in all the departments internally; it was a testament to how close the co-workers were in a time when most stayed at the same job for years. We had a great group.”

Fall recalled pleading with the Planning Department to get a Dunkin Donuts in town and it was “a big deal” when it became reality. She cited “so many wonderful improvements” in town like Station Square on Railroad Avenue and Shaw Cherry Hill Farm.

Over Fall’s tenure, Gorham’s population jumped from about 12,000 in 1993 to a present estimate of more than 18,000.

“We’ve seen years where we barely stopped from morning until close while larger subdivisions went in and change took place,” Fall said, and the recent shift to a four-day workweek was the biggest change in the office.

She said retirement is going “great” but she is undecided on how to occupy her future time.


“The best plan is one not made yet,” Fall said. “I’ll do many of the common retirement goals and decide if I want to work at a part-time job or none at all in the spring.”

She might even accompany her husband on a fishing trip.

“My husband is still working and we were fortunate enough to have built a commercial building years ago in Gorham, which meant a lot to my husband and myself. So between staying normally busy, I suspect we’ll get North since my family loves to fly-fish,” she said. “Who knows, I might give it a go.”

Fall and her husband, Greg, have four sons, three in Maine and one in New York. They have nine grandchildren.

Fall’s successor at the code office hasn’t been named as yet.

“The town of Gorham is in the process of filling multiple administrative positions and will make announcements once they are filled,” Community Development Director Tom Poirier said this week.

For some parting suggestions, Fall advocated for staff communication, troubleshooting ideas and “most importantly, understand no one position should stand alone.”

“We all rely on each other together because the public relies on us every day,” Fall said. “This is a wonderful community and I can only wish the best to the next team of code office staff.”

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