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This profile was last updated on 2/2/16  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Gwendolyn Hallsmith

Wrong Gwendolyn Hallsmith?


Phone: (802) ***-****  
Email: g***@***.org
Local Address:  Montpelier , Vermont , United States
Public Banking Institute
P.O. Box 2195
Sonoma , California 95476
United States

Company Description: The Public Banking Institute (PBI) was formed in January 2011 as an educational non-profit organization. ts mission is to further the understanding, explore the...   more

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations


  • Andover Newton Theological School
  • Master's degree , Public Policy
    Brown University
  • Master‘s degree , Public Policy
    Brown University
163 Total References
Web References
Gwendolyn Hallsmith is the ..., 17 Nov 2015 [cached]
Gwendolyn Hallsmith is the former Executive Director, and a current adviser, of the Public Banking Institute. She speaks all over the nation to local groups interested in starting public banking movements in their areas. She is an expert on local economies, and the author of The Key to Sustainable Cities and Taking Action for Sustainability.
Board & Staff - Public Banking Institute, 17 Nov 2015 [cached]
Ellen Brown, Gwendolyn Hallsmith and public banking were featured in her series of articles, "An Economy of Our Own," which won a National Newspaper Association award for "Best Investigative In-Depth Story Series" in 2012, citing her "atypical sources.
Gwendolyn Hallsmith
Gwen most recently made national headlines with her work in Vermont to ask Town Meetings to consider public banking.
Gwen is the author of several books on sustainable communities and economic reform, including her most recent book with Bernard Lietaer called Creating Wealth: Growing Local Communities with Local Currencies.
Gwen is an advocate of a public monetary system with a deep commitment to local action.
Green Mountain Global Forum Presents Vermont's New Economy Week, 3 Dec 2015 [cached]
Featured speakers are Marc Armstrong, Director of the Public Banking Institute in Philadelphia, and Gwendolyn Hallsmith, founder of Global Community Initiatives, co-founder of Vermonters for a New Economy, and the author of several books on sustainable communities and resilient local economies.
Hallsmith will address the global component of creating and sustaining new economies, citing success stories from around the world.
Global Community Initiatives -- People, 8 Jan 2013 [cached]
Gwendolyn Hallsmith,
Gwendolyn Hallsmith
Gwendolyn Hallsmith Executive Director
Global Community Initiatives
Gwendolyn Hallsmith, the Executive Director of GCI, has over 25 years of experience working with municipal, regional, and state government in the United States and internationally. She has served as a Municipal Manager, a Regional Planning Director, Senior Planner for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy Resources, the Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and as an international specialist on sustainable community development. Her international experience has included work with the United Nations Environmental Program, the United Nations Development Program, the Institute for Sustainable Communities, the International City/County Management Association, the Academy for Educational Development, and Earth Charter International. For the past few years, she has been a divinity student at the Andover Newton Theological School, and has served as the pastor of the United Federated Church in Williamstown, Vermont. She is very interested in the links between our wisdom traditions, spirituality, and work on the community level.
Gwendolyn Hallsmith published ..., 19 Mar 2013 [cached]
Gwendolyn Hallsmith published "The Key to Sustainable Cities: Meeting Human Needs, Transforming Community Systems" in September 2003. She was serving as executive director of Global Community Initiatives, a small 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, when she went to work for the City of Montpelier as the Director of Planning and Community Development. Her hiring letter of October 11, 2006, makes specific allowance for her activity with Global Community Initiatives, which she founded, and other organizations, as well as her attendance at related conferences at city expense.
In this context, the city's hiring of Gwendolyn Hallsmith made complete philosophical sense.
The day after the meeting, Planning Director Hallsmith had filed a complaint form with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), seeking their help in defending her First Amendment rights. The city manager had by then showed her the mayor's "anti-capitalist" email, with its clear intent to coerce the city manager into quieting Hallsmith. She summed up her situation this way to the ACLU:
Hallsmith did not claim that city officials were creating a hostile workplace by their actions, but she describes workplace conditions that would support such an allegation. Nor did she complain that she was under pressure, in effect, to violate the law as expressed by the city's duly-adopted Master Plan, which some city officials wanted to ignore, although that, too, appears to be the case.
"I am hoping that it can be resolved without a huge public scandal," Hallsmith wrote the ACLU. "I am not looking to make headlines - but I feel my rights are being compromised and my job is in jeopardy. I work hard for the city, and I do not like being treated this way."
Her request of the ACLU was simple and moderate: "I think it would probably be sufficient to send a letter to the city manager advising him of the questionable legality of his actions. In a letter to Hallsmith almost six weeks later, the ACLU declined to meet with her or offer her any help whatsoever.
The mayor was on notice in April of potential city illegalities
Responding to the mayor's apology the same day, Hallsmith thanked Mayor Hollar for his "belated regrets" while criticizing his failure to maintain order and civility by reining in obstreperous city officials who were making unfounded personal attacks.
The slow kabuki of Gwen Hallsmith's kangaroo court proceeded
On April 15, according to Hallsmith, an angry city manager, accompanied by his assistant, berated Hallsmith for writing to the mayor directly, even though it was in response to an email directly from the mayor and the city manager was on the copy list of the exchange. Hallsmith reports that the city manager ordered her "not to speak or write about New Economy issues," which includes public banking, and warned her that the mayor was still "angry about the December 7 conference" at which he had spoken.
Through the summer and into the fall, Hallsmith continued to speak and write about the issues she cared about, without immediate consequence.
In July, Vermonters for a New Economy, one of Hallsmith's projects, initiated a "State Bank Town Meeting Campaign," designed get Vermonters at a town meeting on March 4, 2014, to support this resolution:
"I would like to know 1) how Gwen manages to run her non-profit and pursue this initiative while maintaining her obligation to the City; and 2) how this campaign is consistent with the City's economic development policies and her job
description. Why in the world would the city want to take a position in support of consolidating the agencies below (and antagonizing some of the 'most senior economic development officials in the state')? More importantly, this is something the council has never discussed. Gwen obviously can pursue interests on her own time, but as the City's chief economic development officer, her position on these issue can't be distinguished from her official position with the City.
In early October, Planning Director Hallsmith went on vacation, much of which she spent organizing Vermonters for a New Economy events. She also had what she described as "an off-the-record conversation with people at the Times Argus [a Montpelier newspaper] about Mayor Hollar's email of September 20th, which impugned my integrity and my personal reputation. The city manager got wind of this meeting and started sending Hallsmith somewhat frantic emails that did little to clear the air, as he accused Hallsmith of being the problem: "You have created the difficulty by disclosing confidential matters to the press."
The first news story ran October 23 in the Times Argus, and other stories followed in Vermont media. According to the Times Argus, the city manager said Hallsmith was "in no danger of losing her job over this."
In the VTDigger story, "Public Banking Campaign Sparks Controversy at Montpelier City Hall," both the mayor and the city manager continued to misrepresent the town meeting resolution Hallsmith was actually promoting.
On October 24, in the wake of the first news stories, Hallsmith attended a contentious Planning Commission meeting at which she was a target. Despite what the city manager had written, the Planning Commission did not hold a vote or otherwise collectively express confidence in Hallsmith. On the contrary, attorney Kim Cheney (who has his own zoning conflict of interest and chairs the commission) wrote Hallsmith a conciliatory email after the meeting, saying in part: "We need your expertise to write a new law with new concepts."
The statement did not go on to mention that silencing Hallsmith would be a service to Mayor Hollar's big bank clients.
Maintaining a collective fiction may require heads to roll
On November 6, the city manager removed the planning director from her job, putting Hallsmith on paid administrative leave. The next day he published a slick, self-serving, and dishonest version of events that included the falsehood: "The allegations against Mayor John Hollar are simply not true. Mayor Hollar's role is complicated and devious, to be sure, but it's hard to believe that without his conniving, Gwen Hallsmith wouldn't still have her job. In any event, the mayor's "detached disinterest" is the new reality that city officials are repeating ad nauseum. Anything else, like an email all but demanding change, would appear to be a violation of Title X, Section 9 (Non-interference by the City Council) of the Montpelier City Charter.
On November 25, the city manager and the city attorney met with Hallsmith and her attorney, who objected at length to the City's procedures on the grounds that they were unfair and violated state law. The next day the city manager fired Hallsmith. The city manager had provided a rambling memo alleging Hallsmith's supposed misdeeds, but there was no serious effort to analyze essentially trivial complaints to show how they rose to the level of a firing offense under the City's personnel policy.
That policy allows Hallsmith to seek a grievance hearing, which she did.
Hallsmith would be allowed to be represented by counsel, but counsel wouldn't be allowed to question the City's witness. She chose to save money and not question the witness herself. The rules of evidence would not apply and the hearing officer could rely on hearsay at her whim.
In the event that the assistant city manager decides the grievance hearing in favor of the city manager, Hallsmith has indicated that he will take her case to the Vermont Superior Court.
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