DERBY – The Northeast Kingdom community revealed a well-kept secret on Tuesday by renaming Derby’s Clyde River Bridge in honor of former Vermont State Representative, Senator, and State House Sergeant-At-Arms, Kermit Smith.
Despite legislative action and rigorous planning, Smith’s former constituents managed to keep him in the dark about the honor.
Sen. Bobby Starr, Sen. John Rodgers, Lt. Governor Phil Scott, and Smith’s family and friends held the surprise dedication ceremony on the former “Clyde River Bridge” on Route 105 at 4:30 p.m.
Smith joined them in time to hear the bridge renamed the “Kermit A. Smith Memorial Bridge”.
“As politicians and public servants we’re trained to weather all kinds of storms, so I think a bridge is a very appropriate monument for a Vermonter who built their reputation on rising above the fray and connecting their community with the rest of the state,” said Lt. Gov. Scott. “Kermit Smith reminds us that making an impact starts at home, in our own towns, and finding ways to reach those on the other side.”
The naming was made possible with the Vermont Senate’s passage of Senate Resolution 14 on May 6. Sen. Starr sponsored the resolution, with Sen. Rodgers as co-sponsor.
“I think it’s great that we can start a new tradition of honoring people when we can let them in on the celebration,” said Sen. Rodgers. “Kerm’s done so much for the community up here, it’s right to give something back.”