BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – On Tuesday, March 24 in a special Joint Board Zoom meeting, a motion was made not to renew Municipal Manager Wendy Harrison’s contract, which would lapse June 30.
Rockingham Selectboard member Ben Masure made the motion to not renew the manager’s contract, which will lapse on June 30, and a formal letter will be provided from the attorney. Chair Peter Golec seconded the motion. The Selectboard passed it 4-1 with Susan Hammond voting against.
Village of Bellows Falls Trustee Jonathan Wright moved the same motion and Trustee Gary Lique seconded it. The Village Trustees voted unanimously for the motion, 5-0.
Harrison responded that she understood and respected that municipalities have the right to choose their managers. She said, “I was considering giving notice, but thought this wasn’t a good time due to the COVID-19 situation.” She confessed that it “seemed like we’ve been playing a pickup game” with everyone playing different rules. Harrison said she would have addressed that if they continued to work together, but respected the boards’ decision and agreed to work with them through the transition.
Hammond asked whether there would be an update about emergency reimbursements for the Joint Board meeting scheduled for March 31. Harrison explained that they were establishing a separate fund to appropriate expenses related to COVID-19 for potential reimbursements.
Harrison instructed the boards that when receiving funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the records needed to be kept for ten years. She said that often FEMA returns seven to ten years later, and that it was important to keep all receipts.
Village President Deborah Wright thanked everyone for their patience at this time.