Three vie for Peterborough Town Clerk position

  • Voting in Peterborough for the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Linda Guyette of Peterborough Courtesy image—

  • Brendan Bohl of Peterborough Courtesy image—

  • Eddie Gomez Courtesy photo

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/22/2021 1:31:22 PM

Peterborough’s incumbent Town Clerk Linda Guyette is up against challengers Brendan Bohl and Eddie Gomez II for election this year.

Guyette’s office received scrutiny from the town and the Secretary of State’s office last year after former Deputy Town Clerk Gayle Bohl, wife of candidate Brendan Bohl, filed a whistleblower complaint alleging an unsafe and hostile work environment under Guyette, her supervisor, after resigning in late September. The former deputy is suing the Town of Peterborough for wrongful discharge and a violation of whistleblower protections.

Despite his wife’s involvement, last year’s events factored “very, very marginally” into Brendan Bohl’s decision to run for office, he said. Mainly, he’s running because he has time to give back to the community, and saw a need for more friendliness in the Clerk’s office, he said. Although he couldn’t speak much about the specifics of last year’s accusations due to the ongoing lawsuit, Bohl said that he knows the relationship between Town House employees and the Clerk’s office could be better, and heard from many residents who had unpleasant interactions in the Clerk’s office over the past decade. “That shouldn’t happen,” he said. A visit to the Town Clerk should be an “easy, nice, well taken-care-of interaction without people getting upset, being loud, screaming, or anything else,” he said.

Guyette declined to comment on last year’s events due to the ongoing lawsuit, although she said she was unsure whether she was directly implicated at this point.

Guyette has lived in town for 28 years and served as Town Clerk since May 2009. She also served as Deputy Town Clerk for four years, and filled the role in other towns, including Jaffrey, when their own Town Clerk was out. Guyette served as regional co-chair on the New Hampshire City and Town Clerks association for seven years.

Bohl and his family moved to Peterborough in 2016. He owns and operates Vizionz, an eyewear shop, and was elected to the Recreation Committee in 2020 but had to step down for reasons related to the health one of his four children, which have since been resolved, he said. Business at the shop has slowed during the pandemic, and his third oldest graduates high school this year, he said, leaving him with time to hold the Town Clerk position.

Previously, Bohl worked as a HIPAA consultant and privacy and security officer, and a computer network administrator, among other roles, and has been known for excellent customer service, he said.

“Every interaction with the Town Clerk should result with happy, respectful customer service, whether registering something, voting, or filing paperwork. The second is teamwork, teamwork with the town administration, and teamwork with the public. The Town Clerk, in my opinion, is the public’s employee. As such, fostering a great relationship with the public, and the town administration, is critical in working towards what’s best for the town,” he said. Bohl has researched the required trainings and duties of a Town Clerk through the Secretary of State office. “It’s a clerk’s job,” he said, one that a newcomer can start within a week, and quickly learn all required procedures, according to his sources. “The big thing is, you’re the face of the town,” he said. “Respect and kindness is the only thing that, in my consideration, really matters.”

Eddie Gomez II said he seeks to bring a comfortable atmosphere and information accessibility to the Town Clerk’s office.

“No one likes to go to the Town Clerk’s office, I mean, you’re going to go give government more money on a deadline. It can be even more stressful when you’re not sure what document you need or if you’re rushing to get a vital record,” he said. “I love providing customer service and helping people solve problems, and aim to use those skills to create a comfortable environment during elections and anytime someone comes into the office.”

Gomez came to Peterborough in September 2014 after a cross-country move from San Antonio, an apartment fire in East Boston, “and a video production internship in Peterborough that supplied housing – super convenient since I was technically homeless,” he said. “This town has been so welcoming and so full of opportunity. I lucked out landing in this town, starting a small business here and I can’t wait to buy a house and start a family here. Using my passion for community engagement to serve our town as Town Clerk would be a privilege,” he said.

Gomez runs Drum Production Studio, which creates short video content for small businesses around the state. He’s also served on the Master Planning Steering Committee and Recycling Committee in town, and has previous management experience, he said. Through Drum, Gomez also works with the Town of Peterborough creating social media content about the town to share stories about interesting residents and happenings.

“Technology, transportation, and digital/physical informational touch points can be barriers for election participation or the timely registration of something,” Gomez said. To reduce those barriers, he plans to create short resource videos, explaining common town clerk transactions and election information, to inform constituents and aid in more efficient experiences.

A candidate forum, hosted by the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript and the League of Women Voters PeterboroughPlus, for Town Clerk and select board candidates will be held Wednesday, April 28 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. via Zoom.

Peterborough voting is scheduled for May 11 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Community Center on Elm Street.

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