Christina Booher readily admits that when she took the job of Assistant Town Clerk in Charlotte, the choice had more to do with the benefits package than a desire to work in municipal government. However, since starting work on Sept. 29, Booher has found that municipal work is more enjoyable and varied than she expected.
Booher started her professional career in the furniture business moving from manufacturing to finishing. She enjoyed the work but had to resign when she developed carpal tunnel syndrome. “I couldn’t continue to do the job,” she said “but I still think there’s something phenomenal about the smell of a fresh cut piece of cherry.” Subsequently, Booher spent over a decade as the assistant bookkeeper at Vermont Paint Company. “It’s a great company and I love them to pieces,” she said.
In retail, Booher said there were only four or five possible kinds of requests from those who called or came to the store. “Town Hall is a constant surprise,” she said. “One minute I could be taking someone’s tax bill, the next person wants to register a vehicle, then someone comes for an absentee ballot and then there’s a paralegal doing research on a deed. It’s very unpredictable.”
Booher enjoys the fact that every day is different. “This is probably the ideal job for me because I’m doing so many different things on different days,” she said. Initially, Booher was slightly intimidated by some of the legal procedures and the new jargon she had to learn. “That has been the most challenging,” she said. “It’s where I’ve had to focus most of my efforts.” As she becomes more accustomed to the work she’s enjoying the opportunity to learn about things like subdivisions and easements. She’s looking forward to her first Town Meeting Day and the process leading up to it with candidates and possibly petitions.
An additional benefit to Booher’s new job is the reduction of her commute from 17 miles to 3/10ths of a mile. She gets home just after 4pm which allows her time with her cat, dogs, and chickens. “That’s a bonus all its own,” she said. Booher moved a lot as a child including stints in the Northeast Kingdom, Richmond, and Burlington. Twelve years ago, she and her husband found a reasonably priced house on Ferry Road that had “beauty within.” After 20 minutes in the house they decided to make it their home. She loves that she is within close proximity to the lake, hiking trails, and a metropolitan area.
When she worked retail, Booher wasn’t able to interact with her neighbors as much as she would have liked, but that has changed since she began work in Town Hall. “I’ve learned that I’m terrible with names,” Booher said. “In retail you might remember someone because of regular purchases, but here people come in infrequently and for different things. I’ve met hundreds of people already.” Booher hopes she’ll get better at matching names to faces, so stop in and introduce yourself to the new smiling presence at Town Hall.