Julia Latter will soon be striking the “acting” from her Boothbay Harbor town manager title. She succeeds Tom Woodin. Selectmen picked her Nov. 2.
Her journey to the job started further back than October 1997 when then town manager Laurie Smith made her a temporary assistant tax collector.
When Latter was a little girl, her mother would pull up to the old town office and have her run in with the water bill payment.
“I'd get in the car and say, 'I want to work for the town someday.' As a teenager coming in to register my first car, Smith would be sitting, working, and I'd come to the window and still have that feeling that this is where I belonged, working in this town. It's so strange because I really did know this is where I wanted to be when I grew up.”
In October 1999, Latter moved up to deputy tax collector, deputy treasurer and secretary to the town manager. In 2002, finance officer was added to her duties as deputy tax collector, deputy treasurer, network administrator and general assistance administrator. From 1999 to 2007, she also served in a number of other jobs including administrative office manager, interim town manager for two months in 2001, election clerk and communications center director.
Latter said her career has been like a winding road. “But I am a highly motivated, determined person, so I face challenges head on …”
Town manager did not occur to her until she worked for the last two. She began to appreciate the manager job and its responsibilities. Having maintained her relationships with past town managers and selectmen, especially Smith, Latter found the support and guidance of many when she became acting manager.
Since then, she has become more involved with the community, organizations and projects as she carried out selectmen’s directives, she said. She enjoyed being finance officer and expects to enjoy being town manager far more, since the work will be more involved with the community. “And this board of selectmen is extremely supportive, all bringing something to the table that makes the community a great place to live and work.”
Born, raised and educated in Boothbay Harbor, then leaving and coming back and raising her children here, Latter said she feels very fortunate to have ended up working for her hometown. “Not just as town manager, but in all my experience in municipal service in my hometown … I don't know all the words, you know? There aren't enough adjectives to describe the feeling. I am excited and very grateful to the selectmen and to the townspeople for their support and I am excited for the future.”
This article has been updated since its original posting.