Witherell joins Shoreham board

SHOREHAM — The Shoreham selectboard has selected longtime resident and former orchardist Sanford Witherell to join its ranks until the March elections. Witherell fills a spot recently vacated by Selectwoman Marthe Fisher, who stepped down on July 15 amid increasing professional and family commitments.
Witherell and his family owned and operated the Noggin Orchard in Shoreham until around two years ago, when Champlain Orchards acquired the property.
Witherell previously served for more than seven years on the Shoreham Planning Commission, stepping down in 1993. When he heard of the vacancy on the selectboard, he decided to throw his hat into the ring.
“After a 17-year hiatus, I felt a personal need, before I move on, to do more in the way of civic participation,” Witherell said of his appointment.
He looks forward to learning the ropes of the job before deciding whether to run for position next Town Meeting Day.
Shoreham Selectwoman Karen Shackett said Witherell emerged as the consensus pick from among a handful of applicants.
“His involvement with the community and prior service to the town sealed it for us,” Shackett said.
Meanwhile, Shoreham officials are wishing Fisher the best. Fisher was in the midst of her sixth year on the board in May when her mom, Elinor Adams, died at the age of 90.
“You don’t realize what’s involved in dealing with someone’s life after their death,” Fisher said.
Adams was a retired teacher, having taught for more than four decades — largely within Ferrisburgh — during her career. She became one of the first women to serve on the Panton selectboard and the first woman to serve as its chairperson.
Fisher also spoke of some work-related challenges requiring more of her time. She is payroll administrator at Porter Hospital, which recently converted to new software.
“I had to let something go,” she said of her other time commitments.
Fisher reluctantly elected to step down early from her selectboard assignment.
“There was a huge learning curve, but it was a great experience,” she said of her time on the board.
She credited the selectboard with being a hands-on group.
“We didn’t just meet two times a month to sign checks,” Fisher said. “We spend this town’s money more cautiously than we spend our own.”
Fisher did not rule out running for local office in the future.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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