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Pomfret residents honor longtime public servant - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Pomfret residents honor longtime public servant

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POMFRET, Vt. -

Hidden in a sea of faces, a staple in town government in Pomfret inconspicuously sits on the sides lines this Town Meeting Day. Four decades earlier, back in 1973, Hazel Harrington was first voted in as town clerk.

"I needed to get out of the house after raising the kids, so it worked," she said.

For 30 years, she held the position of both clerk and treasurer, a job she was elected to every single year. For the last 10 years, managing the books has been her sole responsibility. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end.

"I think it is the time," Harrington said. "I am getting older and my memory is getting worse, you know. And I think it is just time."

Town meeting was Harrington's last day as an elected official. And as she steps down, she's says the relationships she has formed over the years is what she will miss most.

"Well, the best part is getting to know all the people," she said.

People like Lynne Leavitt, who served beside Harrington as town clerk for seven years.

"Her knowledge, her kindness, her respect for people-- she is irreplaceable," Leavitt said.

"She did the job, she did it well and people trusted her," said Daphne Gratiot, a friend.

Trusted, and admired. The town's gratitude showed through with gifts to mark her tenure and a standing ovation as a community said thanks.

"It changes the town and hopefully it will continue just the same," Gratiot said.

Change on this day was apparent through the election of a new town clerk. Advice for her to follow-- the example Harrington set many years before.

"Always ready with the information that was needed. She was the building blocks, the foundation in many ways for the last 40 years of Pomfret, Vermont," said Peter Fox Smith of Pomfret.

And this grandmother, who plans to spend more time in her son's greenhouse, gives some words of wisdom of her own.

"Go with the flow," she advised. "Things change over the years, and you have to change with them."

A woman not looking to stand out, but this town says she will never be forgotten.

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