Virginia town manager succeeds Swanson in Woodstock

Staff report
Published: 1/22/2020 10:27:46 PM
Modified: 1/22/2020 10:27:40 PM

WOODSTOCK — A town manager from the coastal Virginia will succeed the late Phil Swanson as municipal manager of Woodstock on March 25.

William H. Kerbin Jr., who has managed Onancock, Va., since May 2016, was chosen from a field of 44 applicants and four finalists for the position, the Woodstock Selectboard and Village Trustees announced on Tuesday.

“Onancock is a little smaller than Woodstock, but it’s comparable in other ways,” said downtown merchant Jeff Kahn, chairman of the village trustees. “They have a tourist-driven economy, and it’s got a lot of second homeowners as well as a fair number of retired folks. They also have some of the same issues, including affordable housing.”

Kahn added that Kerbin has experience with northern winters, having previously lived in upstate New York, where his wife grew up.

Woodstock had been looking for a permanent manager since the 67-year-old Swanson, who had served the town and the village for 34 years, died in mid-July after a long battle with leukemia. Kahn said interim town manager Frank Heald, who took the reins at Town Hall in August, will stay on long enough to show Kerbin the ropes.

“Frank Heald has done a fabulous job,” Kahn said. “If Frank wasn’t retired and was looking for a position, we would have hired Frank.”

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