• Mayor seeks clarification
    October 24,2013

    Mayor seeks clarification

    Regarding the article that appeared in The Times Argus about the public advocacy of Montpelier’s economic development director, I disagree with the article’s tone, direction and implications, but I understand that you might have a different view. In that regard, it is fair game as a public official to face criticism in the press.

    There are two matters that I do think are important and I would like to correct them.

    First, the concern that I expressed to the city manager was about an employee advocating, through her city position, for the consolidation of certain state agencies. That policy is not in the city’s best interests and has not been approved by the City Council. That is a different issue than the creation of a state bank. I informed the city manager more than one month ago that I would recuse myself from any discussion of the state bank issue in my role as mayor.

    Second, your article says that I wrote a memo forbidding Ms. Hallsmith from voicing her political opinions publicly. That statement is simply untrue. I have never had any communication with Ms. Hallsmith about this issue.

    Ms. Hallsmith clearly has a right to pursue her own political interests on her own time. The objection I expressed to the city manager was the use of her city position to promote a policy of state agency consolidation that seems clearly contrary to the interests of the city.

    Thank you for correcting the record on these issues.

    John Hollar


    The writer is the city’s mayor.

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