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Town of Shaftsbury, VT
PO Box 409
61 Buck Hill Road
Shaftsbury, Vermont 05262

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Select Board Extends Interim's Contact Another Month

Posted: April 1, 2024


SHAFTSBURY - The Select Board has found yet again that it needs to keep interim Town Administrator David Kiernan around just a while longer.

At a special meeting on Thursday, March 28, the board voted to extend his contract as part-time interim administrator for another month.

In late 2023 Kiernan announced his intention to leave the position by Jan. 31, 2024. He became administrator in the summer of 2014 after the departure of Margy Becker from the position. Before becoming administrator, he was Shaftsbury zoning administrator, starting in 2013.

Due to a delay in hiring a new administrator, Kiernan left as fulltime administrator on Jan. 23 with the understanding that he would return as part-time interim administrator in early March, a position lasting through April 30th. Select Board members took on his duties while he was gone.

However, with new town administrator Paula Iken not starting until May 1, and the need to forge ahead on the multi-faceted Community Center Development project, the Select Board voted to extend his contract out another month.

At Thursday's meeting, Kiernan told the board that due to changes in State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds regulations on the expenditure of American Rescue Plan Act money, all of it would have to be obligated - that is, contracted out - by the end of this year. This places extra urgency on moving ahead with plans for a community center, for which the town has $686,000 in ARPA funds set aside.

The town is looking to finish upgrades on the first floor of Cole Hall, as well as add community-oriented amenities and spaces on adjacent property it has acquired in recent months. Officials envision a town green, pavilion, and a community center, though extra private funding may need to be raised for a robust community center.

Kiernan said he's been struggling with a heavy work load and has been working more than 20 hours every week. Once Iken starts things will improve and he will be available to help her while still devoting time to the community center project.

"You can be working on that and available to her when she has a question as she's working," said Board Chair Naomi Miller.

"Exactly, there will be lots of questions and we'll (also) be onboarding a new accounts payable person," Kiernan said. "It will be nice to be around and helpful for a while and she'll be off on her own for a week or two. Which will be great, because then every time I start to do one of these piles (of paperwork) which has to has to do with the project, something else comes up, which is just normal. But when you're reduced half time, it's like I was doing bills at home yesterday for four hours."

Compliments of: The Bennington Banner
Posted/Author: Mark Rondeau

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