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Bethel Closer to Hiring Manager

Town Hopes to Select Individual by March

Bethel — The Selectboard this week began winnowing down the list of applicants to succeed longtime Town Manager Delbert Cloud, who retired in October.

The three-member board finished interviewing nine applicants by phone on Monday, said Selectboard Chairman Bill Hall.

“Now we plan to move forward and select three of those people to bring in for face-to-face interviews and (have them) go around and meet the employees,” Hall said.

Bethel contracted with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns to perform the initial search, and advertised the position with a salary range of $55,000 to $70,000.

Cloud worked as town manager in Bethel for 26 years and retired at a salary of $64,000.

Bethel officials subsequently hired Merelise O’Connor as interim town manager to fill in during the search.

O’Connor — who worked for almost 12 years as town administrator in Plymouth, N.H., and more recently served as interim town manager in St. Johnsbury, Vt. — is working half-time for Bethel, Hall said.

He said the Selectboard will make the names of the three finalists public, especially since they may meet with Bethel residents, and hopes to finalize the search by late winter.

“If everything works right, we hope to have somebody on board and in place prior to Town Meeting this year,” Hall said.

John Gregg can be reached at 603-727-3217 or jgregg@vnews.com.