After a three-hour long executive session Wednesday evening interviewing the final two town manager candidates, the Selectboard announced Thursday morning that it has made a conditional offer to Interim Town Manager Lee Krohn.
Board Chair Jerry Storey in an email to the Shelburne News said: “The Selectboard has extended a conditional offer of employment as town manager to Lee Krohn. The offer will be confirmed in public next Tuesday night and represented a unanimous choice.”
The board has a regular meeting Tuesday.
On Wednesday evening the board – minus member Dr. Josh Dein – re-interviewed Krohn in person and the other finalist, candidate Ethan Bindernagel, planning director in Walnut Creek, Calif., by video conference.
Now the board has to negotiate details of the contract with Krohn.
By MADELINE HUGHES
The Shelburne Selectboard was back to interviewing candidates for town manager last night after the Shelburne News went to press.
The Selectboard previously offered the job to one of the finalists that they interviewed in a four-hour long executive session Tues. Oct. 23 but their top choice declined the offer.
That rejection sent the Selectboard back last week to confer with the Town Manager Search Committee, again in closed session.
Though that meeting last Thursday was mostly behind closed doors, resident Sarah Tompkins asked the Selectboard and committee during the public comment time to truly consider Interim Town Manager Lee Krohn for the position. She said she was relaying her personal feelings, as well as those of several neighbors.
“We are asking that you really look at having Lee take that position,” she told the board, referring to Krohn, who has been in the position temporarily for six months and was a top-three finalist for the job. “He knows the job, he has shown us that he can do the job. He is also familiar with the budgets… He’s also very transparent. He has been wonderful about answering peoples’ questions,” Tompkins said.
Library trustees Cathy Townsend and Ruth Hagerman also attended the Nov. 1 meeting, eagerly awaiting the Selectboard’s next steps.
“Lee has been a key member of the Library and Town Center Construction Committee,” Townsend told the Shelburne News. “His vast experience, calm manner and willingness to help have been key to the success of the project. He has prevented potential delays in the project and as a result, we are on schedule to open the new library in the summer.”
Krohn was the only in-state candidate the board interviewed for the permanent position. In total, 24 people applied for the job. The consulting firm hired by the town to oversee the hiring process, Municipal Resources, Inc., narrowed the list to 16 people. Then consultants, after phone interviews, whittled down the list and recommended six candidates to the committee.
None of the interviews have been conducted in public, but the Selectboard released the final three candidates’ resumes after interviewing them two weeks ago.
On Friday, Selectboard Chair Jerry Storey told the Shelburne News that the board would re-interview Krohn and the other remaining finalist Ethan Bindernagel, the planning director in Walnut Creek, Calif.
Both have a similar background in municipal planning. Krohn has spent his entire planning career in Vermont, with a brief stint as interim town manager in Manchester, Vt. He lists his residence as Charlotte on his resume and has been an active member of the Shelburne Volunteer Fire Department since April 2014, when he moved to South Burlington.
Bindernagel worked in planning departments in Walnut Creek, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Greenbelt, Md. His wife’s family is from South Burlington and he once worked for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders as a legislative aide.
The Selectboard was scheduled to meet from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday night for interviews in a closed-door session. The Shelburne News will update this story online at shelburnenews.com.