• Mayor was heavy-handed
    October 25,2013

    Mayor was heavy-handed

    I read with interest Montpelier Mayor John Hollar’s rebuke of city employee Gwen Hallsmith for voicing her support of public vs. state-run banking; though the city later recanted under pressure, a memo sent Sept. 27 forbade her from publicly communicating her political opinions.

    I was present when Mayor Hollar testified at a hearing on March 29, 2012, of the Vermont House Health Care Committee in support of S.199, which would have abolished parents’ right to make vaccine choices for their children. (The effort failed: The House voted 133-6 to preserve parental choice.) Though he spoke “as a parent and school board member” and asserted that vaccination rates should be 100 percent because that is what doctors recommend, he claimed no interest was posed by his being mayor of Montpelier and the Vermont lobbyist for Pfizer — which markets $3.72 billion Prevnar, best-selling vaccine worldwide.

    When Hollar is also a paid lobbyist for Bank of America and Wells Fargo in Vermont, it is at the very least unseemly for him to be heavy-handed toward Hallsmith for expressing her opinions about public banking.

    Charlotte Gilruth


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