Letter: Shaftsbury clerk responds to earlier letter

To the Editor,

I have enjoyed my first year as Shaftsbury's town clerk. This is a very active office with many attorneys and researchers visiting daily. A large part of the job is accurately recording and preserving important town records, and I also provide free notary public services, register voters, and issue marriage and dog licenses. Additionally, I preside over elections, and serve as clerk for the Board of Civil Authority, along with numerous other duties. My favorite part of the job is meeting everyone that comes into the office and of course the occasional impromptu wedding ceremony. Every day brings something new, this job is never boring.

I feel I must address some misleading information from another candidate's letter to the editor printed on 2/16. The town clerk position is not part-time, it is a full-time position. Most weeks I am in the office before and/or after regular office hours. I have visited a terminally ill resident at home to notarize paperwork. I have gone to the office over the weekend to produce certified copies of a death certificate and delivered them to a funeral home so a family could move their loved one to another state for burial. I meet people in the office at times convenient for them and in March I will be expanding the regular office hours. The other candidate mentioned that I make my own hours, this is true. It was I who decided to stay open one evening a week to make it easier for residents to come to the office. Said candidate would like to combine the positions of town clerk and Treasurer and she expects to be paid around $46,000 per year. While these positions are combined in some very small towns, it isn't possible in a town the size of Shaftsbury. Melanie and I are busy in our own offices, trying to combine the two positions would cause a drop in the level of service that would be able to be provided. The letter also failed to mention that the clerk's salary and benefits are covered by the fees brought in from recording documents, dog licenses, etc. My salary and benefits come at a near zero cost to the taxpayers of Shaftsbury, you really can't save the taxpayers more than that.

I am fortunate to work with a wonderful group of people at the Town Offices. We all work well together and things run very smoothly. I would like to ask for your support not only for myself, but also for Melanie Dexter, treasurer; Diana Mayer, lister; and Tim Scoggins and Art Whitman, Select Board members.

I hope to serve as Shaftsbury's town clerk for years to come and would appreciate your support on March 6th. If you stop in the office, don't be afraid to bring your dog, there is always a treat waiting for them and candy for you.

Marlene Hall

Town Clerk



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