The Shelburne Selectboard will begin preliminary discussions next Tuesday on finding both an interim and a permanent replacement for Town Manager Joe Colangelo.
Colangelo has an offer to be the new town manager for Hanover, Mass., and selectboard Chairman Jerry Storey, a former municipal manager in Maine, said he is assuming that Colangelo will be moving on.
The job offer is subject to both a background check and hammering out the final details on the contract — issues that should not cause a problem.
Colangelo said he still loves his work in Shelburne, but the new job is a chance to move closer to where his wife grew up and where she has family.
Storey said he has met with Colangelo to talk about some of the town’s most pressing issues. He said some are obvious, like getting the new library project and town center renovations rolling, including permits and construction.
The town also needs to monitor the federal court appeal concerning the salt storage facility and a hazardous waste ordinance that a judge said singled out Vermont Railway.
Colangelo told the Shelburne News there are several “big-ticket items” that the interim and permanent town manager will need to tackle in the next three to five months, plus the normal day-to-day matters that happen in a town the size of Shelburne.
“This doesn’t include smaller projects and other day-to-day matters,” he said. He said there are others that he considers “complex, time-consuming, and most likely could not simply be dispersed to existing staff.”
He said development of both the water department budget and the sewage-treatment budget will take time and expertise.
Other issues he cited were union negotiations, creation of a possible stormwater utility, village traffic-safety improvements and relocation of the dog park.
Seeking Hanover job
Colangelo, 37, said the hiring process in Hanover was remarkable and that he was particularly struck by the commitment to transparency.
He said the four finalists were all interviewed in public, and the sessions were televised on the local access cable station.
Colangelo said when it came time to pick from the four, the Hanover board did not retreat behind closed doors, but instead conducted its entire discussion in open session with the public in attendance. That discussion also was televised and remains available on the Hanover TV access channel website.
The only time the Hanover board went behind closed doors was after his selection. The secret session was to develop terms of terms the town wants in the proposed contract.
The Hanover Board voted 4-0 to offer him the job. The chairman abstained.
While two finalists had more experience, the selectboard believed Colangelo was the right fit for the job at this time, Hanover Selectboard member Brian Barthelmes told the Shelburne
News in a phone interview.
After the fourth candidate was interviewed last Thursday night, the selectboard continued to meet in public session to discuss all four finalists. Based on comments, Colangelo became the choice. Barthelmes said the open discussion allowed the Hanover taxpayers to understand the selection process.
The job was advertised at up to $175,000 a year, depending on experience. Colangelo makes $105,000 a year in Shelburne and is due to get a $5,000 raise next month.
“We hope to move along as quickly as possible,” Barthelmes said.
Hanover’s acting town manager is leaving for a new job on about April 20 and Hanover hopes there can be a transition period with both on the job, Barthelmes said.
“I am definitely excited,” Colangelo said. He said he wants to ensure a smooth transition in Shelburne. He said he has made clear to Hanover officials that Shelburne remains his top priority while he is still on the job in Vermont.
He said he spent three days in Hanover when he went for his interview. “I got to drive around, talk to people. It’s a good place.”
Colangelo has been Shelburne’s municipal manager since April 2014; he was the town administrator in Hinesburg for three years. He was also an assistant town manager in Middlebury for three and a half years.
According to the Hanover Mariner newspaper, Hanover is seeking a permanent replacement for Town Manager Troy Clarkson, who left the job in November. The selectboard had voted 3-2 not to renew his contract.
Former assistant town manager Tony Marino has been the acting manager, but submitted his 60-day resignation notice March 9; he’s been selected as the town manager in Ipswich, Mass.
Colangelo, an Iowa native, earned a bachelor’s degree from City University of New
York-Hunter College in 2004. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Albany in 2006.
Colangelo and his wife, Heather, a former Vermont State Police trooper, live in Bolton. They have a daughter and a newborn son. His wife recently completed her master’s in social work from Boston University and works for Washington County Mental Health.