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Stoddard resigns as town manager

In fond farewell, Selectboard notes that she set 'an awfully high bar'

PUTNEY—After working with the town for 11 years, Town Manager Cynthia Stoddard is leaving.

Stoddard accepted a position with the New England Municipal Resource Center, a Fairfax-based company that provides “technological and management resources to municipalities, schools, and nonprofits.” She had worked there in the past.

Stoddard announced her resignation at the June 21 regular Selectboard meeting with an official letter, which she read into the record. Her last day is Aug. 4.

The Westminster resident began working with Putney more than a decade ago as finance director. Six years later, she added “town manager” to her portfolio and, for the last five years, she has served in both positions.

Stoddard said “several factors” led to her resignation. The one she said she focused on is her desire to remain in local government, “one way or another.”

Her children are grown, “and it’s made me reflect on what I want to do for the rest of my career,” Stoddard told Selectboard members. She wants to work in a place where she can “offer my experience to many Vermont communities,” and the Resource Center will allow her to do that, she said.

“It was not an easy decision,” Stoddard said, and “I leave with sadness in my heart as I’ve grown so fond of this community and of you, and the dedicated staff that work so hard to offer the highest level of service possible.”

“I could never have done this job without the support and guidance of the Selectboard. Most importantly, I need to recognize Laura Barcomb, my assistant, Brian Harlow, the road foreman, and Tom Goddard, the fire chief. No matter the circumstances, they are unwavering in their dedication and support to this town, their co-workers, and to me,” Stoddard said. “I also want to thank the Putney community for welcoming me with open arms.”

“I am deeply regretful you are leaving us,” said Selectboard Chair Scott Henry. “I wish you would stay, but I understand, and all I can simply say is, you’ll be greatly missed. I don’t think we can thank you enough. You have set this town on sound footing, which was considerably lacking for some length of time.”

“I absolutely concur,” said Board member Steve Hed. “You’ve set an awfully high bar.”

“I second everything Scott said,” said Board member Josh Laughlin.

Stoddard will remain until Aug. 4 to “allow the town to get through Phase II of the sidewalk construction and FY17 audit, help to train the new bookkeeper, and tie up loose ends.”

As of press time, the Selectboard hadn’t hired another finance director or town manager.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #418 (Wednesday, July 26, 2017). This story appeared on page 0.

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