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From left, Dummerston Town Clerk Pam McFadden, Lister and Zoning Administrator Charlotte Annis, Treasurer Laurie Frechette, and Assistant Town Clerk Whitney Harrison.

Town and Village

‘Musical Chairs’ at Town Office

With town clerk stepping down, others are stepping up

For a full list of available positions and how to run for them, visit the town’s website at dummerston.org. On Feb. 3 and 17, the town will host “Meet the Candidates” nights as part of the regular selectboard meetings. All are welcome to attend.

DUMMERSTON—If the current employees of the Town Offices have their way, after Town Meeting Day, the players will remain mostly the same, but the roles will change.

Think of it as a municipal version of “Musical Chairs.”

Town Clerk Pamela McFadden announced she is not seeking re-election this year, but will stay on for most of the year to help with Town Meeting and November elections.

Treasurer Laurie Frechette has submitted a position to run for McFadden’s post.

Charlotte Annis, who currently serves the town as a lister and the zoning administrator, hopes to assume Frechette’s place as treasurer.

In an interview with The Commons, all three women expressed how much they like working together.

“We have a great working relationship,” Annis said, pointing out that Assistant Town Clerk Whitney Harrison “fits right in there, too.”

“Personal dynamics are important in offices like this,” McFadden said, noting when she answers the telephone at the town offices, “there’s laughter in my voice.” She said she and her colleagues take their jobs seriously, but “it’s a fun place.”

McFadden, who was first elected as town clerk in 2005, said, “I’m cutting my hours back to be at home to support my husband’s job.”

“I think 10 years is a nice run,” she said, but, “it’s time for a change.”

“She’s done a great job at helping people through their problems,” Selectboard Chair Zeke Goodband said of McFadden. He said that whether residents need assistance with “the state, or taxes, or just about anything, Pam will find the resources they need. You couldn’t ask for a better town clerk.”

In addition to staying on to help with 2016 elections, and to train the new town clerk, McFadden will remain Dummerston’s delinquent tax collector.

Frechette was hired as assistant town clerk by McFadden shortly after her initial election. Since then, she has been treasurer and the assistant to the Selectboard.

She plans to continue assisting the board, but “it’s at the pleasure of the Selectboard.”

With two Selectboard positions up for election at Town Meeting, and board Clerk Gurudharm Khalsa not seeking re-election for his two-year seat, the five-member board will have one new member, and possibly two.

When asked why she is running for town clerk, Frechette said, “I want to continue the good work Pam has started.”

Charlotte Annis attributes numbers, and her love of working with them, as her main reason for running for treasurer. “It’s a good fit for me,” she said.

“It’s not as much as a people-contact job, but I’ll get that with other ‘hats’” Annis said she wears in the town offices, such as lister, tax collector, and zoning administrator.

Goodband encouraged any registered Dummerston voter who is interested in serving in the town offices to submit a petition signifying their intent to run.

That includes running for Town Clerk or Treasurer.

“It’s an election,” Goodband said. “Not a coronation.”

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Originally published in The Commons issue #340 (Wednesday, January 20, 2016). This story appeared on page C1.

Links

dummerston.org

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