Hartford accepting applications for town manager search committee


Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 02-09-2023 11:08 AM

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION — The town is seeking applications from residents and town employees to join a town manager search committee.

The Selectboard voted on Tuesday to create a nine-member advisory committee to oversee the search for a new town manager, a position last held by Tracy Yarlott-Davis, who officially parted ways with the town last December.

The committee will be responsible for recommending finalists for consideration by the Selectboard, which will make the ultimate selection. The committee’s tasks will include drafting a job description, advertising the position, reviewing resumes and application materials and interviewing and screening the candidates.

The nine committee members will include seven Hartford residents, a Selectboard member and a town employee. The employee does not need to be a Hartford resident.

Only the seven residents will have voting power on the committee.

Acting Town Manager Gail Ostrout suggested the board member be a non-voting role.

“If you have a voting Selectboard member, that potentially could impact the voting of other Selectboard members, which I don’t think would be appropriate,” Ostrout told board members.

The Selectboard plans to select committee members at a meeting on Mar. 6. The Selectboard has not determined a deadline to hire a new town manager but hopes to appoint the committee members prior to Town Meeting on March 7.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

The board has been without a permanent town manager since last October when the board placed Yarlott-Davis on administrative leave. Since that time Ostrout, the town finance director, has served as acting town manager and Hartford Human Resources Director Paula Nulty has served as acting assistant town manager. The Selectboard and Yarlott-Davis finalized a separation agreement in December.

Hartford has also recently filled two key department head positions.

On Jan. 25, the town announced the hire of former Rutland Police Commander Gregory Sheldon as the new chief of Hartford Police Department. Last week, Hartford hired Thetford Town Manager Bryan Gazda as its new director of public works, who will be starting later this year.

Blank committee applications and an official description of the town manager search committee are available at the Town Manager’s Office in Town Hall. The application and description are also available online on the town website. Applications are due by Monday, Feb. 27 to the Town Manager’s office or via email to llivingston@hartford-vt.org.

Patrick Adrian may be reached at padrian@vnews.com or at 603-727- 3216.

CLARIFICATION: Thetford Town Manager Bryan Gazda will continue serving in Thetford until the end of April. Subsequently, he will begin employment as the Hartford director of public works. An earlier version of this story was unclear about Gazda's current employment status.