Judy Akers, Poland Town Clerk, received the prestigious 2022 Ethel N. Kelley Award during the Maine Municipal Association’s 86th Annual Convention on Wednesday evening.
Akers, who has served as the community’s town clerk for 46 years, is believed to be one of the longest serving clerks in Maine. She is widely respected for her ability to bring Poland’s residents together to resolve difficult and contentious problems in a thoughtful and respectful manner. True to the traits of a longtime clerk, Akers is firm in her adherence to established municipal rules and procedures to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and respectfully.
The award’s namesake, Ethel N. Kelley, devoted 45 years of service to MMA, and since 1986 the Association has recognized a municipal official with the same penchant for public service. James Gardner, Easton Town Manager, and chair of the selection committee noted “that even if 150 applications had been submitted, Ms. Acker’s nomination would have risen to the top. She is a carbon copy of Ethel Kelley; loyal, dedicated, hardworking and kind.”
During her acceptance speech, Akers shared that between her grandfather, father, mother, two uncles and herself, the family “has been dedicated to the Town of Poland for over 200 years in different departments, all serving the public.”
Selflessness was a common theme among the testimonials supporting her nomination, as Akers was consistently praised for her commitment to treating people with compassion and empathy.
Akers concluded her remarks with an analogy about local service. “Municipal government is like a puzzle and all the different departments are the pieces. When everyone works together as a team you have harmony, and the residents are happy to call your town their home.”
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