After three and a half years as the town’s clerk and treasurer, Kirsten Hathaway is moving on.
Hathaway said in an interview last Monday that her last day at the Town Office will be Jan. 17. Her new role will be that of director of finance and human resources for the Rutland Housing Authority.
“I struggled a lot with whether or not I wanted to leave,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to work with the Rutland Housing Authority, they’re a great group of people to work with, it’s something I find very important to the community, but I do like what I do and I do love our residents, and it was a hard choice for me, but I think it’s where I need to be.”
Hathaway was appointed by the select board in 2016 after the resignation of Donna Zeller. She then ran for the town clerk and treasurer positions, and won. Hathaway had previously worked at Killington Ski Resort in Killington, her education being in hospitality management.
Her efforts to modernize the offices of town clerk and treasurer are what she’s most proud of.
“I was able to get credit card and online payments for the residents for taxes,” she said, adding that getting the clerk’s office renovated is also something she’s pleased with. That project is underway right now. “It’s going to be gorgeous once it’s finished. A lot of the things I’ve done around the office are things most people won’t notice necessarily, but I’ve spent a lot of time archiving and poring through a lot of our older documents, making sure we’re holding onto the things that are important to keep for town history, and organizing a lot of that so it’s easier for people to find.”
She said there’s plenty left to do for whomever comes after her.
“There’s so much organizing that needs to be done for the town records so that they’re better accessible, digitizing documents so that we can move into a more modern age, that was really the big one that I wanted to get to, and unfortunately just never had time for it,” she said.
Her advice to her successor is simple: Listen to the residents.
“They’re very good at telling you what we need to focus on in the town, and there’s a lot of really great people that live here,” she said. “They have been very nice to me the whole time that I’ve been here, and I’m going to miss a lot of the people who come in to see us all the time.”
Hathaway would have been up for reelection at Town Meeting Day. The deadline to get a petition in for the jobs, or any open town seat, is Jan. 27.
Select Board Chairman Joshua Terenzini said the town will hire for a part-time position to help Assistant Town Clerk Susan McGee with the town clerk and treasurer duties. Town administrative assistant to the select board, Bill Sweet, will also help, as will Terenzini and Selectwoman Mary Ashcroft.
“Kirsten has been a nice partner to the select board on a variety of issues,” said Terenzini in an interview last Monday. “Kirsten, in my opinion, her first priority has always been to better the office of the town clerk and treasurer, and under her leadership over the past few years we’ve seen some modernization of the office in terms of processes and procedures. She has been fiercely defensive of the taxpayers’ money, which is important in that role, and she’s done a positive job for the townspeople.”
He said Hathaway took customer service to the next level while she was serving the town.
“Certainly, I know many people will be sad to see her leave us, but the select board does wish her well in the future, and we want to see Kirsten do what’s best for her and her family,” he said.