Hired as the Dedham administrative assistant in December 2006, Michelle Begin is well into her 13th year working for the residents of this town located halfway between Ellsworth and Bangor.
In her position, “I gather all the information for the selectmen,” Begin said. “I am responsible for managing the town office and the town employees.” She is among the four employees (including a part-time code enforcement officer) employed at the town office.
The Dedham select board that hired Begin included long-time Selectmen Al Jellison and Everett Lawrence. Jellison died in October 2017, and Lawrence retired not long afterwards. Begin credited both men for helping make her job successful.
“I’ve been lucky to have really good [select] boards,” she said. “People here feel the selectmen listen to them.”
Dedham is an unusual town, in that “the Village of Lucerne is within our boundaries,” Begin said. Her staff provides many services, ranging from dog and vehicle registrations to vital records and tax collecting, to Lucerne residents, and the village pays more than 25 percent of the annual appropriations to cover office operations.
Dedham has not changed that much in the last 12 years, Begin believes. Most residents shop for groceries in East Holden or Brewer, and despite increasing traffic on Route 1A (especially in summer), Dedham remains a quiet place to live and raise a family.
Growing up in Ellsworth, Begin graduated from Ellsworth High School and then studied business management at Thomas College in Waterville. She moved to Dedham with her children in 2017.
Begin enjoys spending time with them. In summer the family likes to relax at the beach, especially at the ocean. Begin likes to garden and to sew, and she does crafts.