For Immediate Release
March 24, 2023
White River Junction, VT — Vermont Secretary of State Sarah Copeland Hanzas held the first meeting of the newly reconstituted Town Clerk Advisory Committee (TCAC) at the Hartford Municipal Building in White River on Tuesday. Reconvening the committee, which has not actively met for over a decade, was a priority for the secretary as she settles into her first term in office.
“The Vermont Secretary of State’s office has always tried to maintain a close working relationship with Vermont’s city and town clerks, and I am proud of the relationship this office currently has with them,” said Copeland Hanzas. “But as municipal government gets increasingly complex and new clerks enter the ranks, I feel that formalizing our relationship a bit can only help us all work together better.”
The committee make-up aims to be representative of clerks across the state. The 13 clerks that sit on the committee hail from both big and small municipalities and include both veteran clerks and those new to the office.
The Vermont Secretary of State’s office is a resource for clerks, helping with guidance and best practices for local elections, public records management, cybersecurity, and overall municipal government operation, among other things.
“We are here to help, and our hope is that clerks feel comfortable picking up the phone or shooting us an email with questions and feedback,” said the secretary. “We also learn a lot from them as we troubleshoot issues and research questions.”
For their part, Tuesday’s meeting was a chance for clerks to connect or re-connect with members of the secretary’s team, learn about the kinds of services the office provides, and suggest topics to discuss in the committee’s upcoming meetings. Among other topics, clerks mentioned cybersecurity, voter education, and the challenges of annual town meetings as priorities and areas of further discussion. The committee will meet monthly and will rotate among the various clerks’ offices and the secretary’s office in Montpelier.
The 13-member committee includes the following clerks: Cathy Mander-Adams (Belvidere), Cassandra Barbeau (Bennington), Rachel Giroux (Berlin), Hillary Francis (Brattleboro), Guy Tanza (Brookline), Sarah Montgomery (Burlington), Sandy Pinsonault (Dorset), Lisa O’Neil (Hartford), Christy Pion (Lowell), Sara Haskins (Morristown/Morrisville), Amber Holden (Newark), Calista Brennan (Reading), and Jennifer LeStat (Worcester).