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Letter to Editor, The Killington Selectboard

Will the town vote to keep the Town Manager Form of Government?

On Monday May 7, 2012 Killington will hold a vote by Australian Ballot at the Killington Town Offices between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to consider the single petitioned article:

"Will the town vote to take advantage of the provisions of chapter 37 of Title 24 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated, and authorize the selectmen to employ a town manager?"

Simply translated, this question asks, "Will the town vote to keep in effect the Town Manager Form of Government?" The actual language in the article comes directly from the Vermont statutes and the question is required by law to be in this form. Because of the wording of the petitioned article and the major impact the vote would have on the Town and the way we govern ourselves, the Selectboard is issuing this letter to clarify the article and the potential outcomes of the vote.

• A "YES" vote would reaffirm and continue the Town Manager form of government we currently have.

• A "NO" vote would revoke the Town Manager form of government.

What is Town Manager Form of Government? It's important to understand the answer to this question to realize the potential impact of this article on the Town. In Killington we have had the Town Manager Form of Government for over 30 years. The Town Manager is recognized by Vermont Statutes in Title 24 Chapter 37. Summarized by VLCT (the Vermont League of Cities and Towns), "the Town Manager is charged by law with the efficient administration of the affairs of the town. He or she supervises all appointed staff and departments, manages all town finances, develops and administers the budget, and serves as the general manager of the Town.

The manager is also responsible for the hiring and firing of all personnel and overseeing all town buildings, facilities, and infrastructure. In sum, the relationship between the Selectboard and the manager is best compared to that of a corporate board of directors and the chief executive officer. The directors establish policy, but entrust everyday operations to the executive." In Killington, the Town Manager also acts as the tax collector, and the statutory commissions on delinquent taxes (currently 8 percent) are paid into the Town treasury.

Additionally, our Town Manager (unlike most other towns) is also is responsible for the Golf Course and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism and oversight of the heads of these departments.

If the Town Manager Form of Government were revoked, the Town would have 30 days to transition to a new form of governance. The Selectboard would assume all responsibility for the general affairs of the town and would have to be involved in the everyday management of the Town. By law, the Treasurer would assume all responsibility for finance and accounting functions. The office of tax collector would become vacant, and, until the town voted to elect a tax collector, the responsibility for delinquent tax collection would be delegated to the first constable. As compensation for his or her time and expenses, the first constable would receive all delinquent tax penalties and interest which currently count as revenue to the general fund.

There will be an Informational Meeting on the above petitioned article on Wednesday, May 2 at 7 p.m. at the Killington Town Offices.

We hope this letter is helpful. Thank you,

The Killington Selectboard

J. Christopher Bianchi, Jim Haff, Bernard Rome

Tagged: The Killington Selectboard, Letter to Editor