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The Commons
Voices / Letters from readers

Putney Town Clerk treated insensitively

Editor’s note: Our reporting included multiple references by town officials in support of the Putney town clerk, who did not respond to a request for an interview. We would welcome her voice in this matter, either in these pages or in our continued reporting of this story. We believe it is in the public interest to explore the consequences of an elected public official’s actions, and we always strive for compassionate, thoughtful approaches in our reporting, especially on difficult or painful topics. We leave it to readers to judge whether we do so successfully.

Originally published in The Commons issue #429 (Wednesday, October 11, 2017). This story appeared on page E4.



RE: “When a town official stops working, what then?” [News, Sep. 13]:

The article about Putney Town Clerk Denise Germon is so one sided I cannot believe what I am reading. You do not know all the facts, which seems to be irrelevant to you. Denise Germon has been advised by counsel not to discuss the reasons for her leave of absence.

This article paints a picture that Denise disappeared with no communication to the Selectboard. You are wrong. I will submit to you that you did not ask the correct questions and Selectboard members and/or town staff did not tell you why Denise is taking a leave of absence because it was discussed in executive session.

You should be ashamed to so casually and broadly paint a picture of Denise Germon abandoning the town of Putney. If you cared about the person at all, the question you should be asking is what caused Denise Germon to take a leave of absence?

Residents of Putney have not seen a lack of service in the town clerk’s or town treasurer’s duties as they are being maintained by qualified assistants, as they have been for the last several years. This article is irresponsible at the highest level and smacks of sensationalism.

Denise is a caring, hardworking, dedicated and responsible person. Your careless writing to grab headlines for your own ends is sickening and very disappointing. I find your article very insensitive. I know that the residents of the town of Putney have the compassion to care for one of their own.

Apparently compassion and sensitivity are concepts with which you are unfamiliar.

I would urge you to fully research and understand the context of what you are writing about. Someday you may be on the receiving end of such misinformation and an unsubstantiated shadow may be cast upon your character. You would not want to be treated in such a way.

Vicki Coomes Goodrich


Lebanon, NH

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Editor’s note: Our terms of service require you to use your real names. We will remove anonymous or pseudonymous comments that come to our attention. We rely on our readers’ personal integrity to stand behind what they say; please do not write anything to someone that you wouldn’t say to his or her face without your needing to wear a ski mask while saying it. Thanks for doing your part to make your responses forceful, thoughtful, provocative, and civil. We also consider your comments for the letters column in the print newspaper.