Putney names Johnson to Town Clerk role for the long term

PUTNEY — The former Interim Town Clerk Jonathan Johnson is now Town Clerk Jonathan Johnson.

“We are happy to announce that we are appointing Jon Johnson” to the position, said Board Chair Josh Laughlin at the Oct. 24 regular Selectboard meeting.

In mid-March, the Board appointed Johnson as interim town clerk during a special Selectboard meeting. His contract ended Nov. 6.

Prior to March 7, Putney's town clerk was an elected position - the electorate chose this person via Australian ballot at the annual Town Meeting.

This changed because of a procedural bind the town found itself in last year.

Former Town Clerk and Treasurer Denise Germon was elected to a three-year term in March, 2017. She stopped showing up to work two months later, but did not resign. Per statute, town officials had no way to remove or replace her until she officially vacated the position.

But, also last year, the Vermont Legislature passed a law allowing voters at Town Meeting to switch the town clerk and treasurer offices from elected to appointed. At Putney's annual meeting on March 6, voters overwhelmingly supported this change.

Now, the town clerk and treasurer are regular town employees, appointed by - and serving at the will of - the Selectboard.

The Selectboard, Laughlin said, is “glad to have [Johnson] on-board,” and residents “seem happy to have him.”

Johnson told The Commons he's happy, too: “I've never had a better job, being town clerk.”

Subscribe to the newsletter for weekly updates