Chief Randy Johnson’s first act after being sworn in was to recommend the appointment of Rebecca Morris as the police department’s new permanent part-time officer. Board members approved the new hire.
The board also announced good news and bad news regarding their continuing process to hire a new administrator. Acting chair Vicki Capitani said the town had received 64 applications as a result of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns’ initial efforts.
The bad news, however, is that the board has heard from only two community members interested in serving on the town administrator search committee. Board members had hoped the committee would do much of the initial work to evaluate applicants and narrow down the list of candidates.
“I’d like to know what the rest of the board would like to do,” Capitani said. “If we follow the timeline the VLCT has laid out for us, it’s a tight schedule. If we wait too long, applicants may have taken other positions.”
Board member Tom Baltrus suggested the board move forward without a selection committee. “We don’t have time to put other ads out to get more committee members. I think we’re going to have to take this on ourselves.”
Capitani said she had been in touch with board chair Randy Terk, who agreed with Baltrus’ conclusion. Board members agreed to review the applications and meet again before their next regular meeting. “If we follow the timeline, the VLCT is hoping we might have someone in here by early February,” she said. “So we don’t want to hold anything up. We want to keep moving as fast as we can.”
In other discussions, West Dover Fire Chief Rich Werner asked board members to put off a decision on bids for the firehouse roof until he can have the ventilation evaluated. “In the original plans, there were suppoesed to be fans in the cupola, but when it was built we had to cut a bunch of stuff and that was one of the things cut.”
Werner said the resulting reduction in ventilation volume may be the cause of deterioration to roofing materials on some sections of the station. “If you look at the south end of the firehouse roof, it doesn’t look too bad, but the further you get into the middle, the worse it looks.”
Werner said he’d like to ask contractors to put their bids on hold until spring to research the matter over the winter. “It wouldn’t make sense to spend a lot of money to put on another roof if it won’t last.”
The board also approved Werner’s request to purchase $39,500 worth of protective gear for firefighters.
Dover Economic Development Director Ken Black introduced Pat Weisbrich, the new economic development assistant.
Black requested funding for the town’s holiday decorations, to include new decorations for the town’s new park. He said has already talked to Dover resident Jim Martin about making more of his snowman decorations for the town, including a family of snowmen for the park. “We also have a lot of lights in our possession, so I thought I’d put lights on the gazebo, light posts, and maybe the tree in the park.”
“Are you going to do that yourself?” asked Capitani.
“I’d be happy to string some lights,” Black said. “It’s not a major deal.”
Black also said Martin had volunteered to pick up evergreen roping and wreaths if the town would purchase them.
There’s $300 in the economic development budget for decorations, Black told board members, but he would need about $300 more from the town’s holiday decoration budget to pay for all of the planned decorations.