Art manager

City manager search enters interview phase — Waterbury Roundabout

Aug. 18, 2022  |  By Lisa Scagliotti 

From a field of 31 candidates to be Waterbury’s next city manager, city officials planned this week to interview seven candidates with the aim of narrowing the field to two or three finalists.

Waterbury Select Chairman Mike Bard and Vice Chairman Dani Kehlmann shared this update at Monday evening’s board meeting. The search committee working on recruiting a successor to City Manager Bill Shepeluk is working with candidates who responded to a job posting seeking to fill the city government leadership position by November. Shepeluk plans to retire at the end of the year.

The job posting attracted 31 applicants, and committee members working with a consultant from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns sorted to rank and select a group for an initial round of interviews.

Bard explained that each member reviewed letters and resumes and ranked the applicants. “It’s a diverse group,” Bard said. “Most have some experience in Vermont.”

Bard said many came from the eastern United States, with the farthest coming from Los Angeles. Kehnmann said only six or seven applicants were women and none were selected for interviews.

“I would have liked to include women,” Bard said, adding that experience requirements led the committee to eliminate female candidates in the first selection.

The first round of interviews were conducted online, they said. Those chosen for the next round will be invited to come in for an in-person interview to meet city staff and see the community.

The search committee also wishes to involve members of the community in this final phase of the selection process.

Following Monday’s meeting, the committee announced that it would invite interested community members to participate in future meetings with the finalists to provide feedback to the committee. This would mean a time commitment of up to three hours a day to plan with applicants, plus approximately 30 additional minutes on the second day to share feedback with the committee.

For more information or to volunteer, anyone interested should email Kehlmann at [email protected] by Friday August 26th.

The Search Committee is made up of representatives from the Select Board, the Edward Farrar Utility District Board of Commissioners and the Library Commission.

The minutes and agendas of the search committee are on the city’s website, waterburyvt.comin the select a board section.

Park planning progresses

Planning for Hope Davey Park and recreation grounds near the Ice Center in downtown Waterbury is progressing with SE Group, the Burlington consulting firm the city recently hired for the project. City Planning and Zoning Director Steve Lotspeich and Board Member Alyssa Johnson provided an update on the $50,000 planning project that voters approved on the day of the town meeting.

The consultant is working with the municipal authorities and a steering committee made up of community members representing various leisure groups. They have mapped sensitive wetlands and are looking to create a master plan for future uses in the two popular areas.

The group has two upcoming meetings that the public is invited to attend. The first is a site visit scheduled for Friday, August 26th. The committee and consultant will visit both park locations starting at Hope Davey at 9 a.m. and meet at the Ice Center around noon, Lotspeich said. Members of the public are welcome.

The next one is described as a “vision” walk-in meeting to be held September 15 at the Hope Davey Park Pavilion from 5-7 p.m. Community members will be encouraged to stop by to ask questions and offer input into the planning exercise. .

The planning group aims to have a report by December. Lotspeich said he hopes the exercise can also include a process to involve the community in finding a name for the recreation area near the ice center which includes playgrounds, trail entrances Perry Hill mountain bike park, dog park and site. of a skatepark project.

“We’re generally on schedule,” Lotspeich said. “We are trying to shake things up.”

The process was initiated as a means of sorting out competing interests among park users and planning for future recreation development in the two locations.

In a similar vein, Shepeluk said he continued to receive complaints about the disc golf course at Hope Davey this summer. He said he would ask park users not to take it upon themselves to make changes.

“We want people to know it’s okay to go play on the course, but they shouldn’t move holes, cut down trees,” he said. “We ask for everyone’s patience. Hopefully we will fix some of the issues with this master plan.

Speeding problems on Stowe Street

Newly paved Stowe Street is a big improvement for motorists, but it poses a challenge for drivers to keep to the 25mph speed limit. Shepeluk and some board members heard local residents, especially those living along Stowe Street, express concerns about speeding.

The board discussed options for additional enforcement by Vermont State Police troopers assigned to Waterbury or even contracts with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department for additional patrols.

Shepeluk shared observations he made during a 30-minute stretch late Monday afternoon where he observed traffic on Upper Stowe Street near one of the feedback signs flashing the speed of a vehicle.

Of the 56 vehicles that passed, 10 were traveling at or below the speed limit; 25 were between 25 and 30 mph; 18 were between 30 and 35 mph; and three were over 35 mph with the fastest at 38 mph, Shepeluk said.

“Speed ​​is a fact of life,” Shepeluk said. “Nobody likes that.”

Director of Public Works Bill Woodruff outlined line-tracing strategies that have yet to be done and how lines along the shoulders could be placed to narrow traffic lanes and thereby encourage drivers to slow down.

Kehlmann summed up the discussion with a motion that the board unanimously supported to request more attention to speed enforcement from existing state trooper patrols, paint the new lines to narrow somewhat traffic lanes and prioritize a sidewalk extension project in front of Brookside Elementary School to increase pedestrian safety, especially for students.

Student art for Main Street