Our Town

“Our Town” is a weekly feature, starting Jan. 3, that will profile each of Hancock County’s municipalities as well as the county itself.

  • Manager embraces town’s waterfront way of life

    Manager embraces town’s waterfront way of life

    “My family’s been here since the 1700s. I was born and brought up here,” says Stonington Town Manager Kathleen Billings, who lives in her native Deer Isle. After graduating from Deer Isle-Stonington High School, she earned an accounting degree at Beal College in Bangor. Returning home on weekends, Kathleen worked at the Stonington Lobster Co-op

  • Harbormaster Raelene Pert: ‘I’m up early, and I stay out late’

    Harbormaster Raelene Pert: ‘I’m up early, and I stay out late’

    The harbormaster and pier manager for Stonington, Raelene Pert is originally from Hancock. She attended Ellsworth High School and later earned her GED. Raelene married Christopher Pert on May 26, 2003. “We lived in Ellsworth for about two years. Then we moved to Brooklin, and we’ve lived there ever since,” she said. A lobsterman based

  • Put a face on it: Stonington Town Clerk Jennifer Stanley

    Put a face on it: Stonington Town Clerk Jennifer Stanley

    Stonington Town Clerk Jennifer Stanley grew up in Castine and attended Bucksport High School, where she participated in the Future Business Leaders of America. Jennifer met her husband, Keith, at BHS; “we are high school sweethearts,” she said, smiling. On May 11, 2019, Keith and other relatives proudly watched as Jennifer graduated from the University

  • Stonington by the numbers

    Stonington by the numbers

    Town Clerk’s report (2018) Births: 13 Deaths: 12 Marriages: 6   Registered voters (May 2019) 917 total registered voters 312 Democrats 174 Republicans 39 Green Independent Party 392 not enrolled in any party   Tax Collector’s report Outstanding 2017 real estate taxes (as of December 31, 2018) 21 accounts (20 taxpayers): $19,033.29   Outstanding 2018

  • Meet Southwest Harbor Town Clerk Marilyn Lowell

    Meet Southwest Harbor Town Clerk Marilyn Lowell

    Growing up in Birch Harbor, Southwest Harbor Town Clerk Marilyn Lowell graduated from Sumner High School and later earned an associate’s degree in developmental disabilities at Bangor Community College. She worked three years at the Elizabeth Levinson Center in Bangor before returning to Sumner as a Resource Room education technician for 12 years. Marilyn worked

  • Put a face on it: Southwest Harbor Town Manager Justin VanDongen

    Put a face on it: Southwest Harbor Town Manager Justin VanDongen

    An upstate New York native, Southwest Harbor Town Manager Justin VanDongen majored in political science at SUNY New Paltz and “lived in Massachusetts for a little while” after graduation. Visiting Maine on weekends, he relished the state’s slower pace of life, so he soon transferred to Bath as a Lowe’s zone manager. After working as

  • Longtime resident Tom Benson loves his work and his home

    Longtime resident Tom Benson loves his work and his home

    An experienced surveyor, Tom Benson could have established his business, T.W. Benson Land Surveying Inc., anywhere in Maine, but Southwest Harbor was where he wanted to be. “This is a unique area,” Tom explained. “I enjoy being near the water. It’s a small area,” and “I know a lot of people.” His roots run deep

  • Southwest Harbor by the numbers

    Southwest Harbor by the numbers

    Town Clerk’s report (2018) Births: 11 Deaths: 29 Marriages: 18   Registered voters (March 2019) 1,579 total registered voters 598 Democrats 379 Republicans 77 Green Independent Party 525 not enrolled in any party   Tax Collector’s report Outstanding FY 2016-2017 real estate taxes (as of July 1, 2018) Nine accounts (eight taxpayers): $11,022.35   Outstanding

  • Town still reaping benefits from a special night in 1972

    Town still reaping benefits from a special night in 1972

    Sorrento has benefited ever since that 1972 evening when mutual friends introduced Dwayne Clement to his future wife, Esther, in Ellsworth. Dwayne’s father, Howard, was a Coast Guard lighthouse keeper on the Maine coast. “When I was born, we were on Great Duck Island. They then moved him over to Baker Island until I was

  • Accidental discovery led selectman to choose Sorrento

    Accidental discovery led selectman to choose Sorrento

    Rob Wilpan, chairman of the Sorrento Board of Selectmen, moved to Sorrento with his wife, Janet, in 1988. Hailing from Long Island, N.Y., they wanted to live in “a cleaner, less crowded area,” Rob recalled. Maine was the desired destination. Rob “was into bike riding while growing up on Long Island,” and he would bicycle