Bethel searches for fourth town manager since 2014

  • Greg Maggard

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 7/11/2019 10:19:48 PM
Modified: 7/11/2019 10:19:38 PM

BETHEL — Officials in Bethel are searching for a new town manager to succeed Greg Maggard, who resigned last month to move back to Colorado.

Maggard, who worked as a public works director in the Rocky Mountains before moving to Bethel in 2017, tendered his registration on June 10. His last day at Town Hall was June 21.

At the time, Maggard said an ailing family member required he move back west. Messages left for him on Wednesday were not returned.

The departure has again forced Bethel’s five-member Selectboard to conduct a town manager search, its third since longtime manager Delbert Cloud left in 2014.

The group hopes to find a replacement for Maggard within six months, according to Selectboard Chairman Chris Jarvis.

The board on Monday agreed to form a search committee charged with vetting applicants, conducting interviews and making a formal recommendation, Jarvis said. That committee will comprise Bethel’s five Selectboard members and three other residents, he said.

“The intent this time is to be more regional,” Jarvis said, contrasting the search with the nationwide effort that found Maggard. Applicants, he said, are mostly from northern New England and New York.

The narrowed search is partly due to time constraints, Jarvis said. The last time Bethel was looking to replace a town manager came as Keith Arlund was preparing to retire, which provided the Selectboard more time to make a decision.

Advertisements for the position were posted to job-seeking sites on July 1. So far, 30 candidates have applied, although not all are qualified, Selectboard member Paul Vallee said during the board’s Monday meeting, according to draft minutes.

Qualifications include a bachelor’s degree in public administration, business administration or a similar field. The town also is requesting candidates with five years of municipal experience, according to the job listing.

The town manager is responsible for overseeing Bethel’s $3.2 million budget, 14 full-time employees and 30 part-time and seasonal workers. Starting salary is listed as $70,000, which is $5,000 less than Maggard made when he was hired in 2017.

Maggard, who worked municipal jobs in Colorado and Oklahoma before coming to Vermont, brought a lot of experience to the position, Carl Russell, a former Selectboard chairman, said Wednesday.

“A lot of what came through was transparency and approachability, access to governance and an open-book kind of policy,” Russell said of Maggard’s time in Bethel.

Maggard was also responsible for recruiting several employees to the town offices, was prudent with town coffers and had a knack for solving public works issues, Russell said.

“I think that was one step forward in the effort to improve our local governance,” he said.

The Selectboard plans to have a new town manager by Dec. 31, Jarvis said, although it’s possible a candidate could be announced in early fall.

Until then, town Finance Administrator Therese Kirby is serving as an interim manager.

Tim Camerato can be reached at tcamerato@vnews.com or 603-727-3223.




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