Asst. Town Clerk departs

By Kim Howard
Observer staff

Williston resident Denise L’Esperance is leaving her position as Assistant Town Clerk.

After 2 1/2 years helping Williston residents with everything from voting to dog licenses, L’Esperance, 41, will complete her last day in the office next Friday. She’ll start a full-time position with the U.S. Attorney’s office in Burlington as an information receptionist in early March. Her position as Williston Assistant Town Clerk was part-time.

“She’s so friendly and outgoing and great with customers,” said Assistant Town Clerk Kathy Smardon. “She’s extremely bright and capable of anything we gave her. We’re going to miss her.”

Originally from Lynn, Mass., L’Esperance and her husband, a major with the Vermont State Police, moved to the southern part of Vermont 18 years ago for her husband’s job. The pair and their daughters, now 11 and 15, moved to Williston five years ago.

“I’ve met some really nice people in Williston,” said L’Esperance, whose warm personality is evident as she assists residents in the clerk’s office. “It’s helped me adjust to the area. I’ve learned a lot about the town.”

Hanging out with her family is one of her favorite ways to spend time when she’s not at work, she said. She also enjoys gardening, cooking, and reading horror novels like those written by James Patterson.

L’Esperance said she was well trained by the clerk’s two full-time assistants: Smardon, who has been in the office 18 years; and Kathy Boyden, who’s been there 35.

Being able to help someone who’s never been into the office find what they’re looking for has been her favorite part of the job; her least favorite was seeing residents unhappy when they’ve had to pay a fine for a late payment.

L’Esperance will begin her new job March 5, the day before Town Meeting Day – a busy day for the clerk’s office.

“I’m definitely going to miss a lot about this job. I enjoyed the elections,” she said. Not only did she enjoy seeing people on election days, she said, it was fun for her to see the outcome.

“Sometimes you think things are going to go one way and they go the other way,” she said.

Resident Lynn Distler will assume L’Esperance’s position on Feb. 20.

“I’m very excited about it,” Distler said. “I need more people interaction.”

Distler has been typing real estate appraisals part-time for the past three months, she said.

Town Clerk Deb Beckett could not be reached for comment prior to press time. Beckett is currently deployed to the southwest along the Mexican border as a member of the Vermont National Guard.