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Three vie for Lincoln treasurer

LINCOLN — Long-time Lincoln Town Treasurer Larry Masterson’s last term will expire next month, giving way to an unusual three-way race for town treasurer
In Lincoln’s only contested election on Town Meeting Day, Shawn Richards, Lisa Truchon and Linda Daybell are vying to fill the treasurer vacancy.
After 15 years of serving the town, Masterson has decided to retire from the part-time position of town treasurer. It’s not that the work is demanding or unpleasant, he said, it’s just that at the ripe age of 71 he thinks its time for Lincoln’s posterity to grab the town’s fiscal reins.
And along with Masterson’s exit, the town’s manual accounting system will be replaced by an automated software program that the treasurer uses.
Each of the three running for treasurer say they bring specific strengths that would help them in the job.
Richardson, 38, believes he’s the right resident to oversee this transition. As the director of accounting for Sugarbush Resort, Richardson says he deals with the implementation and oversight of modern accounting systems every day,  and that he manages the finances for a public water utility, a nonprofit, the resort’s operations and other service areas.
According to Richardson, it’s important for the town to not only choose a treasurer with accounting experience, but one with experience implementing a new system.
 “My biggest concern is that the town is planning on moving from a manual accounting process where everything’s done by hand to (an up-to-date) accounting system,” he said.  “I want to make sure the new software is installed correctly, and I have experience with that through my employment … So I know what it takes to go through (this) process and make sure the proper controls are in place.”
If elected, Richardson would have to resign from his current municipal position as a town auditor, which he’s held for three years.
He’s not the only candidate that has experience as a Lincoln official.
Truchon, 49, is one of three town listers. She worked as a bookkeeper for a small company in Plainfield for many years and she did cash reconciliation work for Ames department store in Middlebury and Barre.
Over the past 10 years of working as a lister, Truchon said she’s worked closely with Masterson on tax billing and making sure property assessments for the town’s grand list are accurate. She expects that the town will use software from the New England Municipal Research Center, which she said she has experience with.
“I understand the (town’s accounting) process, and I think I’d do a good job,” Truchon said. “We’re going to new accounting software … and that’s something I have experience using … I really want to play a role in the community and have the opportunity to build on all of the positive things Larry has done here. Larry has just been a tremendous asset to the town for many years.”
If elected, Truchon plans to continue as a town lister since state statutes don’t indicate otherwise.
Daybell, 67, hasn’t worked for the town, but she did serve on the board of the Lincoln Library from 2005 to 2008. She said she has years of accounting experience. Among the positions she’s held, she said she first worked as a public school district treasurer in Albany in the mid ’80s, then as a business manager for an independent school in the late ’80s and as fiscal manager for the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce in the early ’90s.
She’s running for town treasurer because she wants to serve her town and thinks the position would be a good fit for her.
“It’s something I can do, and I have a history of working … with not-for-profits and school districts in similar positions, so I have the background,” Daybell said. “I have a love of Lincoln, a love of the community and an ability to know what needs to be done to exercise good, sound fiscal policy.”
Masterson made it clear that the town treasurer position carries a lot of municipal power. When asked what attributes the next Lincoln treasurer needs to possess, he was unequivocal.
“I think integrity is the number-one thing,” he said. 
Lincoln voters can meet the candidates on Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. in the Lincoln Library, and they will have a chance to choose their next town treasurer in the voting booth on March 6, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Burnham Hall.
Reporter Andrew Stein is at andrews@addisonindependent.com.
 
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Voting in Lincoln
Town Clerk Sally Ober reminds Lincoln residents that:
•      Early/absentee voting has begun for the March 6 Town Meeting Day and Presidential Primary Election. March 5 at 5 p.m. is the deadline to request an early/absentee ballot.
•  Wednesday, Feb. 29, at 5 p.m. is the deadline to register to vote. New this year, 17-year-olds who will turn 18 by Nov. 6 may vote in the Presidential Primary.
•  The Lincoln town meeting will be held Monday, March 5, at 6 p.m. at Burnham Hall.
•  Tuesday, March 6, from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, the polls are open for Australian ballot voting at Burnham Hall.
•  To see a list of candidates, visit www.lincolnvermont.org or look for sample ballots posted on bulletin boards around town.

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