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Meet Gloria Warden, Ferrisburgh town clerk

Gloria Warden is town clerk of Ferrisburgh. She and her husband, Jim Warden, have lived in the town since 1987. Reporter Sam Hartley chatted with her recently in the historic Grange Hall on Route 7 that now serves as the Ferrisburgh town offices.
Q: When did you become town clerk?
A: In 2014 the (former) town clerk retired. I didn’t know about it until it was too late for (nominating) petitions (to run for the office). I was approached by some residents asking me to run as a write-in, and I did. 
Q: Could you explain what a petition is?
A: To run for office you have to have a petition signed by X many voters, depending on what the office is. There’s a deadline for when they can be submitted. 
Q: What aspect of your job do you most look forward to?
A: You learn something new every day and there’s never two days that are the same. One of the best things I look forward to is meeting people from the town. I had no other way of meeting them. I also like staying up to date on statutes and changes in the laws and how they affect our community. It’s a very interesting job.
Q: What aspect of your job do you least look forward to?
A: Not having enough time to do all the tasks and projects that I want to accomplish. There’s a lot I want to do.
Q: What do you do to relax?
A: We have pets, which I enjoy. They’re very relaxing. I like spending time with my husband, my family and my friends. I like to play the game Secret Society on my iPad. I’ve also started geocaching with my daughter.
Q: Geocaching is like a treasure hunt, right?
A: You use a GPS and download programs. They give you a location and name the treasure you’re looking for. There was one over in New Haven at the cemetery. It was called “Pearly Gate.” You zero in to it, then when you’re pretty close you start looking for it. It could be in the notch of a tree — this particular one was in the gate. It’s fun. 
Q: What would you say is your favorite achievement?
A: Having my family. 
Q: What’s the most interesting thing that has happened to you in the office?
A: I find the old records interesting. We had a guy from — maybe Texas? — and he was writing something about Vermont history. We’d get a note from him like, “On such and such a day in 18-something there was a town meeting and could you tell me what the vote was?” 
Q: Besides a house or property, what is the most expensive thing you’ve ever purchased?
A: Of course a car, but one of the fun things was that we took a trip to Mexico so I could swim with the dolphins, which was on my bucket list. I got to actually swim with them twice. There were actually two different places where you could swim with the dolphins, so it was two totally different experiences. This was back when it was safe. This was maybe 10 years ago or so, but I guess it’s getting better again.
Q: What part of your job do you think the public should understand better?
A: I try to make the public aware of a lot of the services we offer and how important it is to get their feedback. Whether it’s negative or positive, it’s welcome. You can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s broken.
Q: How would you like to be remembered?
A: I’d like to be remembered for my efforts for transparency in town and to get information out to the public. I publish our selectboard agendas on (an online mailing list) and a little link (to the town website). Also my efforts to recruit volunteers. Our volunteers are the best and truly the heartbeat of our community.

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