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Lebanon city clerk to retire; deputy to take role

  • Sandi Allard

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/11/2020 8:58:05 PM
Modified: 5/11/2020 8:58:01 PM

LEBANON — Longtime City Clerk Sandi Allard will retire at the end of the month, ending a three-decade-long career in City Hall and leaving the position in the hands of Lebanon’s deputy clerk.

Allard, 58, said on Monday that the decision to step down came as a result of several factors. She just celebrated her 30th anniversary with the city and her husband will soon be retiring as well.

“I think it’s just the right time for us, my husband and me,” she said, adding the move will allow her to spend more time with aging parents and her daughter, who lives in South Carolina.

However, Allard said she’ll miss the job, particularly conducting elections and interacting with residents.

“It’s definitely all about the people and the residents,” she said. “Lebanon has some wonderful residents living within its community.”

Allard will be succeeded by Deputy City Clerk Kristin Kenniston, who lives in Claremont and has worked in the Lebanon clerk’s office for more than 12 years.

The city clerk in Lebanon is appointed by the city manager, rather than being elected by voters.

The annual salary range is $72,940 to $98,459.

“I’m just excited for the opportunity,” said the 39-year-old Kenniston. “It’s also sad because I’ve really enjoyed working with Sandi. She’s been an awesome mentor and a friend.”

Allard, a native of White River Junction, was hired in 1990 as executive assistant to Lebanon’s city manager. She served under three regular managers and two interims before being appointed city clerk in 2003, replacing Dorothy “Dottie” Doyle.

Like Allard, Doyle was a veteran city employee who served 38 years as clerk before retiring.

Current and former city officials on Monday lauded Allard’s commitment to holding well-run, fair elections. Inside City Hall, she also pushed for new technology and was a mentor to municipal employees, poll workers and volunteers looking to get involved.

“To be honest, she is an excellent boss,” said Sarah Courtemanche, who worked the polls in Lebanon for nearly four decades before retiring as a supervisor of the checklist in 2017.

During elections, there was no room for “good enough,” and everything had to be precise with Allard in charge, Courtemanche recounted in a phone interview.

“She was a multi-tasker, she was right on everything,” Courtemanche added. “That’s what made it so easy to work for her because she knew.”

Lebanon School District Clerk April Sanborn also thanked Allard for walking her through the job’s responsibilities.

Allard, who was school district clerk for several years, stepped down from that role last year after a move to Enfield disqualified her from holding the position.

She recruited Sanborn, who had recently completed the Lebanon Citizens Academy.

Allard was “extremely helpful” in filling out forms, educating Sanborn on procedures and readying her for the annual March elections, Sanborn said.

“She was very instrumental in helping me make sure I followed all the steps, got everything done and got all of done on time, despite the fact that she was going absolutely nuts with elections herself,” Sanborn said.

Meanwhile, former Mayor Georgia Tuttle characterized Allard as a “positive and upbeat” face at City Hall.

“Nothing seemed too much for her to help tackle,” Tuttle, who stepped down in 2017 after more than eight years in the position, said in a voicemail. “Whenever I had a problem, she was there to both give me good guidance and to help me with whatever research or information that I needed.”

“She made being a volunteer for the city as positive as it could be,” Tuttle added.

Lebanon Mayor Tim McNamara said Allard has assisted him in many of the same ways, adding she’s “extremely devoted” to the job and city.

“She’s always sort of gone above and beyond to do her job in a way that really reflects well on city government,” he said.

Kenniston, Allard’s successor, said she intends to bring many of the same attributes to the job, beginning with efforts to increase access to the clerk’s office.

Kenniston said she intends to seek ways to make better use of the city’s website and explore expanding services available at the clerk’s desk. That could potentially include becoming a hub for collections, including sewer, water and tax bills.

“I’m always looking for ways that we can make something easier or more efficient,” she said.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.




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