Hartford town manager resigning after differences with Selectboard

  • Brannon Godfrey (Town of Warrenton, Va., photograph)

  • Hartford Town Manager Brannon Godfrey, left, and Selectboard Chair Dan Fraser prepare to start their first meeting held by videoconference during the coronavirus pandemic in White River Junction, Vt., on March 24, 2020. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news file — Geoff Hansen

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/30/2020 12:17:25 PM
Modified: 4/30/2020 9:32:43 PM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION --The Hartford town manager is stepping down after little more than year on the job, citing differences with the Selectboard.

Brannon Godfrey announced his resignation in a letter to the board Wednesday, saying his last day will be August 1. 

“The Selectboard and I have a different understanding and expectations for the role of the Town Manager,” Godfrey wrote in the letter. He wrote that he wants the board to find a new town manager who “shares its understanding of the roles and who will fairly advance its policies in the same direction.”

A message to Godfrey for comment was not returned Thursday. 

In a news release on Thursday, Selectboard Chairman Dan Fraser wrote that board members were sorry to hear the news and that they’ll start discussing the search process for the new town manager at their next meeting on Tuesday. 

Godfrey was hired in February 2019 after a six-month search to replace then-Town Manager Leo Pullar, who stepped down for health reasons. Godfrey’s contract was meant to last for three years with a $130,000 salary. 

But the last year has seen some disagreement between Godfrey and the board, specifically over the Welcoming Hartford Ordinance, which says that police may not share a person’s citizenship information with federal authorities.

Before the ordinance was approved by voters – and later the board – this spring, Godfrey raised concerns that the ordinance conflicts with a federal law and might prevent the town from receiving necessary federal grant funding. 

Most recently, he suggested at a board meeting last week that the town send a letter to federal grant agencies, asking whether the ordinance would prevent them from receiving funding, but the board voted against sending the letter. 

In his resignation letter Wednesday, Godfrey said his decision was “more than a single difference of opinion on the adopted Welcoming Hartford Ordinance.”

Anna Merriman can be reached at amerriman@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.

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