For the last 30 days Joanne Rohrig has been getting used to her new job as Milford city clerk and registrar of vital statistics, a position that makes her responsible for many city records plus a vault filled with information, including books and records that date back to 1639.
Vital statistics include birth, death and marriage records, real estate transactions, Milford maps, hunting and fishing licenses, and more. There are numerous records and numbers that a city produces every year.
Rohrig said it is important to record information according to state statutes. Soon, she will be attending a statewide city/town clerk convention, where she will go to seminars and learn new information that will apply to her job.
City clerks can eventually receive the Certified Municipal Clerk certification after passing a difficult test.
“This job is elected every two years,” Rohrig said. “It would be my ultimate goal to pass [the test]. I would like to retire from here; I’d like to keep getting re-elected.”
The city’s Republicans chose Rohrig to fill the unexpired term of former City Clerk Linda Stock, who died in May.
“We had six excellent candidates come forward to seek the honor of serving the people of Milford as our city clerk,” Republican Town Committee Chairman Paul Beckwith said several months ago. “Joanne came out of our process as the party’s choice to continue the excellent work started by Linda and her team 4.5 years ago.”
Beckwith said Rohrig has been a leader in the community for many years, not only as a member of the Board of Education but also in her work with the Jonathan Law Sports Association, Milford Little League, Milford Pop Warner football program, and the United Way.
“She has a passion to want to give back to Milford and to serve the people of our great city,” Beckwith said. “I am confident that Joanne will continue to build on the work started by Linda and will continue to make the city clerk’s office a warm, friendly and helpful place to visit.”
Every day Rohrig said she learns something new, and even though she has been in office only for a short time, she is quickly catching on.
“She knows how to do birth certificates, swear in officials, and give oaths for marriages,” said Assistant City Clerk Bonnie Peloso. “She has rung up things on our new computer system. She will be really involved in our budget, which will be coming up. She’s also getting involved with dog licenses.”
Before she was city clerk, Rohrig dealt with individuals nationally and internationally for 16 years as a manager of Shannon’s Fine Art Auctioneers in Milford. She also served as a minority leader for four years on the Milford Board of Education.
In many ways, serving on the school board helped prepare her for this new role as city clerk, she indicated.
“It was an elected position,” she said of the school board post. “I voted on different items on agendas and created school budgets, which I worked on for months. I was always taking into consideration what was best for the children.”
Currently, Rohrig serves on the board of directors for the United Way of Milford, raising funds for agencies in need in the city.
“Last year we raised close to a million dollars for several Milford agencies, like the Beth-El Shelter, Bridges and the YMCA,” Rohrig said.
Rohrig and her husband own Lasse’s Restaurant, somewhat of an iconic Milford restaurant that is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. She is also on the Annual Milford Oyster Festival Committee, which she has been a part of for 10 years.
Although she is very busy with her other responsibilities, her main focus now is her job as city clerk. She said the office is run very well, and she has plans to make it even more efficient.
“I’m looking into the efficiency of being able to print from a computer for title searches,” she said. “Now we have to physically take out books and make copies.”
Rohrig’s co-workers appreciate her as a worker and as a person.
“She is very nice and helpful,” Peloso said. “She greets people as they come in. She is very community-oriented and knows many people. She has lived in Milford since 1964.”
Rohrig said she is honored to work at an office that is so important for the Milford community.
“Our office is like the pulse of the city,” Rohrig said.