gwendolynhallsmith | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

gwendolynhallsmith 
Member since Jan 29, 2014

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Re: “Fired Planning Chief Considering Challenge to Montpelier Mayor

Thanks! I just did a search of the archives, and I couldn't find it. So please let me know if you do. I like Paul's columns - read them every week. I think he generally does a good job.

Posted by Gwendolyn Hallsmith on 01/29/2014 at 12:26 PM

Re: “Fired Planning Chief Considering Challenge to Montpelier Mayor

I guess I didn't see the original article in Seven Days. I had talked to the reporter, but I didn't know he wrote a story about it. Do you happen to remember when it was?

Posted by Gwendolyn Hallsmith on 01/29/2014 at 12:21 PM

Re: “Fired Planning Chief Considering Challenge to Montpelier Mayor

If I had written the story, it might have said more about why I'd make a good mayor. The way the story reads, it sounds as if the first time I raised an issue about the mayor was after I was put on leave. Most people would read it and attribute my comments about Hollar as 'sour grapes' for being let go. That is simply not true.
I first raised the question about what the mayor was doing to me on September 30, 2013 when I talked to the Times Argus about it, off the record, and gave them copies of the relevant documents. I went 'on the record' with the paper on October 22, and the first article about the mayor's memo to the City Manager, telling him that my advocacy for public banking "really can't continue" was published October 23, 2013.
All hell broke loose at that point. The city leadership was appalled that I would go public with the memos and other information documenting the mayor's interference with my tenure, and his comments about what I was doing in my private life as an advocate for public banks.
I was put on leave November 6, 2013, and fired on November 23, 2013. No just cause, unless bringing more transparency and accountability to the inner workings of city government are grounds for termination. Last time I checked, that was considered a practice of good governance.

Posted by Gwendolyn Hallsmith on 01/29/2014 at 12:10 PM

Re: “Fired Planning Chief Considering Challenge to Montpelier Mayor

Hi "jcarter" -
The article didn't, in fact, announce my candidacy, only that I was considering it. I would love it if people talked about the good work I did for the city rather than the way my tenure ended, since it was so unjust and - let's be honest - plain wrong. I haven't filed a "lawsuit" against the city, it's a simple appeal of the termination. Same process, Rule 75, as you would use to appeal a traffic ticket. I have been told that reinstatement is not likely, but at least there is hope to clear my name so I can get on with my life. Have you ever tried to find a job with this type of public scandal in your recent past? Before making judgments, try walking even a short distance in my shoes. This type of inaccurate reporting makes it all even more painful.
Best, Gwen

Posted by Gwendolyn Hallsmith on 01/29/2014 at 11:32 AM

Re: “Fired Planning Chief Considering Challenge to Montpelier Mayor

Hi again -
Wow, I'm sorry you feel this way, but you also have some facts wrong. The controversy between me and the mayor did not take place "several years ago." I was fired two months ago. I would have loved it if the reporter had described me as a potential candidate without the inaccurate information, without the snarky comments from the mayor. Without using the inaccurate information in yet another story, the same day I complained about the need for a correction. I think it you were in my shoes, you might also try to set the record straight. This whole thing has been so awful - having misleading information published by one of the more popular political columns in the state does not help. Journalists do have some responsibility to the truth. Facts matter.
Best, Gwen

Posted by Gwendolyn Hallsmith on 01/29/2014 at 11:18 AM

Re: “Fired Planning Chief Considering Challenge to Montpelier Mayor

Hi there -
Thanks for your interest. I contacted Paul Heintz first, of course. He told me that he had to talk to his editors. So I sent the relevant information to Jeff Good and Paula Routly. Jeff Good, the news editor for Seven Days, was the one who ultimately responded. Here is what he wrote:
From: Jeff Good
Date: Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 9:03 AM
Subject: Re: Facts and Timeline
To: Gwendolyn Hallsmith , Paula Routly , Paul Heintz
Dear Gwen,
I have reviewed this with Paul, whose notes reflect that on at least two occasions AFTER your ouster you leveled this criticism at John Hollar. Thus, our story is accurate and we stand by it.
If you would like to expand on the story and inform readers of your statements BEFORE your ouster, I'd invited you to consider writing a letter to the editor.
Thanks very much. Sincerely,
Jeff Good

Posted by Gwendolyn Hallsmith on 01/29/2014 at 11:11 AM

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