Letter: Treasurer, town clerk deserve re-election

To the Editor:

Our Shaftsbury Town Meeting is less than a week away. I hope Shaftsbury's voters will re-elect our town clerk, Marlene Hall, and our treasurer, Melanie Dexter. When Marlene Hall was first elected, her name was Marlene Barriere. This past year she resumed her birth name, Marlene Hall. I hope the name change does not confuse the voters when casting their ballots.

Marlene Hall and Melanie Dexter have done a terrific job. My office regularly gets help from the town clerk and the treasurer when we help clients with real estate transactions. Both Marlene and Melanie provide prompt, accurate and professional service. Marlene has done an excellent job managing the work of the Board of Civil Authority. I do not believe anyone could provide any better service than we receive from Marlene and Melanie.

Another candidate seeking election as both town clerk and treasurer touted she could save the town money. Unfortunately, the candidate provided the public with incomplete information. Before 2017, the town clerk received a small stipend from the town, and the balance of the town clerk compensation was from fees and commissions the town clerk collected. In 2017, the town clerk became a salaried town employee, with the town receiving all the fees and commissions the town clerk collects. This new town revenue covers most, if not all, of the town clerk's salary and benefits. I question the wisdom of one person holding both positions. The Select Board expects the town clerk to work 35 hours per week, leaving little time for that person to perform the second job of treasurer. The treasurer is particularly busy when tax bills are issued, tax payments are received, the Select Board prepares the budget, reports are submitted to the town report, and when the fiscal year is closed out. Based on my experience, the town would not get good service by one person in both positions. While it may be possible in smaller towns, it would not work for Shaftsbury.

Finally, I think the town should provide health insurance to its employees. If we want to the town to have a healthy workforce, our town employees need access to healthcare. Without health insurance, our town employees could not afford the healthcare they need.

Please join me in voting for Marlene Hall as Shaftsbury town clerk, and Melanie Dexter as Shaftsbury treasurer. See you at the polls.

Lon T. McClintock,



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