The newest member of The Republican Journal editorial staff is Jordan Bailey of Belfast, a copy editor who said it was her grandmother who inspired her to work in the newspaper business.

Bailey started working for The Journal Sept. 23.

Bailey's grandmother, Amelia Gerardi, was an Italian immigrant who worked as the executive assistant to several mayors of Stamford, Conn. Gerardi also produced an independent newspaper, The Stamford Forum, with a former mayor, Bruno Giordano.

"I've always looked up to her," said Bailey during a recent interview.

Bailey, a 1998 graduate of Boston College, moved to Maine in 2000 and since then she has lived in several communities here including Bar Harbor, Portland and Brooksville.

Bailey and her husband Duncan moved to Belfast this fall after visiting the region a few times. The Baileys decided to make the move from Brooksville after determining their commute from there to the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, where they both work part time, was not much shorter than what it would be from Belfast.

"We figured out the commute was about four minutes longer from here," said Bailey.

Since moving here, Bailey said she's enjoyed discovering the local farmers market, visiting the Belfast City Park and meeting her new neighbors. She also began hearing from family about a cousin living in Belfast, and during the recent mayoral campaign, discovered that this cousin was the incumbent mayor.

"His grandfather is my great-great-grandfather," Bailey said. She got to meet Mayor Walter Ash and his wife during a recent outing in the city.

Bailey said living in the city also affords her the opportunity to get to know her new home in a way one cannot easily do from the driver's seat of a car.

"I love being able to walk to everything I need," she said. "And the people here are very friendly."

In addition to her work at the MDI laboratory, where Bailey wrote curricula and prepared grant proposals and press releases, she also wrote for, designed and edited a bimonthly free paper in Portland, The People's Free News, with other volunteers.

Throughout her professional life Bailey said she never forgot her grandmother and her work with The Stamford Forum, and because of that she always leaned toward positions that allowed her to sharpen her own writing skills. In doing so, Bailey found many aspects of the job she loves in addition to putting pen to paper.

"What I like about newspaper writing is researching, especially about the history of an area, and interviewing people," she said. "I love getting to know interesting people and their stories."