Will the town of Killington consider a residency requirement for the new town manager?
In the old days, selectmen ran towns but 100 years ago the state of Vermont created the select board-manager form of government. After the town of Killington (then Sherburne) adopted the newfangled management style the first two officials were or became residents, but the last three managers commuted from away. For a very long time an unelected non-resident has discharged the legal responsibilities of the Selectmen. No reflection on them personally, but one has to ask how well this arrangement served the people of Killington for the past two generations?
There are arguments pro and con but it stands to reason that residency affects a leader. Any civil rights and constitutional challenges to residency (right to travel, equal protection for non-residents, etc.) can be overcome as long as reasonable requirements are implemented legally.
About 20 percent of Vermont towns have managers and the state does not require residency but some towns do, by charter. The town of Killington has decided not to govern by charter for the time being (all cities, 44 towns and 25 villages do: see list at legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/title/24APPENDIX) but we could, by contract with the new manager, try something closer to home rule for a while.
We are offering to pay the manager over $100,000 including benefits; high cost of real estate is no longer an excuse, if it ever was. Why not take this opportunity to grow our shrinking population and collective wealth? The civic leaders could, of course, pick a resident or the new manager from outside town, but then they could move here–problem solved.
Kip Dalury, Killington