The Towns of Chester, Springfield and Weathersfield are in their own respective processes of selecting new town managers, with each at slightly different stages in the undertaking.
Weathersfield Selectboard Vice-Chair David Fuller announced that 30-year-old Brandon Gulnick, who currently serves as a chief grant writer for the city of Fall River, Mass., will act as Ed Morris’ replacement as town manager. The decision was made at the Jan. 6 selectboard meeting. Gulnick is accompanied by his wife, Erica, and plans to start on Monday, Feb. 3.
According to Weathersfield Selectboard Chair Kelly Murphy, the search committee finalized its duties in December and brought the two final candidates to the selectboard for further consideration.
“Interviews were conducted with each candidate and an offer was made to a candidate, contingent upon successful review of reference and criminal background checks,” Murphy said.
The vote was unanimous, according to interim Town Manager Sven Fedorow.
Morris said there was only one change removed from the original agreement.
“On Monday, January 6, 2020 the selectboard reviewed the background investigation report conducted by the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT). The board reaffirmed its commitment to the candidate and authorized me to sign the letter of hire with the contingency removed from the original agreement.”
In this position, Gulnick plans to focus on establishing and maintaining a grant system and promoting economic development through the town plan.
The position comes with a $77,000 salary.
Meanwhile, Springfield is down to reviewing its final six applicants for the town’s manager position.
“The selectboard reviewed the 28 applications that we received and selected six for a first round of interviews. Following that, we re-evaluated and selected candidates for a second round of interviews,” said Springfield Selectboard Chair Kristi Morris in an interview with the Eagle Times Monday. “That process is complete, and we have asked the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) to initiate background checks on the remaining applicants.”
Kristi said they are within a couple of weeks of finding a permanent manager.
“We are hoping the process for making an employment offer will finish by the end of January,” she said. “Of course, the conditions for employment, including salary and benefits, etc. will need to be accepted by both parties.”
Springfield’s current town manager, Tom Yennerell, will be staying on in a different capacity.
“Tom has agreed to stay on as full-time Town Manager until the end of the budget cycle, which also concludes at the end of this month. Following that, he may remain on a little longer or move to a part time status,” Kristi said.
Additionally, Chester in looking at closing their search for a new town manager sometime in early March.
According to Assistant Town Manager Julie Hance, the committee is reviewing five applicants for the position with a scale that ranges from $60,000-$75,000 annually.
“We have our first five interviews next week,” Hance said.
Chester has set a tentative date for March 6, but Hance said the board members “are not in any rush,” clarifying that the board wants to carefully review the five applicants.