Ferrisburgh town clerk ready to end his nine-year run

FERRISBURGH — Ferrisburgh will have a new town clerk and treasurer as of March — after nine years of the job, Town Clerk and Treasurer Chet Hawkins, 67, has decided to retire.

Hawkins said he only made the decision, although he had thought about it previously, on Saturday after a long talk with his wife.

“She kept saying maybe I should retire, she would really enjoy having me around,” Hawkins said.

He will spend some of his time by staying on as Ferrisburgh’s delinquent tax collector, some by working on home projects, and some by devoting himself to his hobby of restoring vintage cars.

“I’m thinking that will keep me busy,” Hawkins said. “I’m thinking it will be enjoyable to retire.”

One of Hawkins’ lingering retirement doubts was answered when his grandson, David Hawkins, decided to seek the town clerk position and filed his paperwork by Monday’s deadline; he will run unopposed on Town Meeting Day.

David Hawkins is a Army National Guard sergeant, Chet Hawkins said, who has the computer and people skills to make a good clerk.

“My one concern would be who would take over,” Hawkins said.

The other half of Hawkins’ job, as treasurer, will be handled by Garrit Smits, who also filed his petition on Monday and will run unopposed for that position on Town Meeting Day.

Assistant Clerk Pam Cousino said Smits, who has an accounting background, had applied for the assistant treasurer job when it was advertised, but the selectboard did not act on his application before Monday. Smits then filed for the elective post.

After other filings were completed by Monday’s deadline, there are no contested races in Ferrisburgh, but there will be new town school directors.

Ferrisburgh Central School board chairman David Tatlock did not file for another two years. George Gardner, a North Ferrisburgh resident who has not previously served on a town board, handed in his petition for that two-year seat on the FCS board. Running unopposed for another three years on the FCS board is incumbent Christopher Kayhart.

Also stepping down is Laurie Gutowski, Ferrisburgh’s longtime representative on the Vergennes Union High School board. Unless there is a successful write-in candidate, the selectboard will appoint someone for a one-year term on that board.

Two incumbent selectmen will run unopposed for re-election: Jim Warden is seeking another three years, and Steve Gutowski filed for a two-year term.

Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at andyk@addisonindependent.com.


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