Opinion: Middlebury officials responded in visitor’s time of need

As the summer comes to a close and fall is upon us, I reflected on our absolutely incredible “fall colors” trip to Middlebury and adjacent area for an inn-to-inn bicycling trip last October. We were hosted by Ron and Catherine Kowalski in Vergennes and had an incredible trip. The hospitality, cuisine and views were just fantastic.
But the reason I decided to write to you goes beyond a generally fabulous experience and vacation in Vermont. In my day-to-day life I am the city manager of the city of Las Vegas. As city manager, I always value hearing from visitors and residents alike when we could make things a bit better for them and equally as important I appreciate when citizens take the time to say thank you for a job well done.
During our visit we attended a wonderful concert at the Town Hall Theater (very enjoyable and I have the T-shirt to prove it). Once we got back home to the Kowalskis’ that evening, I realized I had lost my wallet during the evening. You can imagine that sinking feeling of losing all your identification, credit cards and cash while being on a trip away from home.
I found the assistance from your theater staff and the police department nothing but superb. I know how stretched public employees can be to meet all the demands of the job of serving and protecting the public. Handling a lost wallet call probably doesn’t rise to the top of the list in many communities, but in yours it did, and it made a remarkable impression on me.
Your police department deployed a unit to take a quick look in the parking lot for my wallet. While this search was unsuccessful, they also surveyed the sidewalks and path I had taken from the theater to just see if they could find the wallet for me. What incredible service and attention to detail they gave.
Meanwhile, one of the theater staff members found my wallet and turned it in safely to their supervisor who tucked it away in the lost-and-found for me to retrieve the next morning. What a relief and a delight that was.
I decided to write your paper because I felt a strong sense of community pride when we visited. That sense of pride was modeled by the behavior and action of both the town employees and the theater staff. These kinds of actions should instill community pride for your public servants and the good work they do. I am proud of them, and I wanted your readers to know that you all have yet another reason to be proud as well.
Betsy Fretwell
Las Vegas, Nev.

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