Middlebury hires its future manager

MIDDLEBURY — Former Middlebury Assistant Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay will reclaim her old job this fall and will transition into the community’s top administrative job within a year, local officials confirmed on Tuesday.
Ramsay, 46, originally left the town’s employ in 2007 after seven years in order to become town manager of Pittsford. After a year in Pittsford, she moved on to become town manager of Killington, where she will continue to work before returning to Middlebury in mid-October.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to come back to Middlebury,” Ramsay said.
She succeeds Joe Colangelo, who left Middlebury in May to become town administrator in Hinesburg. As assistant town manager, Ramsay will tend to budget, personnel and other assignments in collaboration with Town Manager Bill Finger.
Her tenure as assistant manager will be short-lived. That’s because Ramsay, 46, has agreed to succeed Finger when he begins to phase out his duties as town manager next fall. At that point, Finger, now 65, has agreed to serve as assistant manager for a while to aid in Ramsay’s transition to the top post.
“I think (this arrangement) is really good for all involved,” said Finger, who has served as Middlebury town manager since 2000. “It’s good for the town, for Kathleen and for me.”
Finger explained that he has been thinking for the past few years about moving into at least semi-retirement and a less hectic schedule. He reasoned that bringing Ramsay back into the administrative fold would ensure town operations would be left in good hands.
“This plan will allow things to remain good, progressive and stable,” Finger said. “Kathleen and I always worked well before, and I anticipate we will be able to do so again.”
Town officials, led by Middlebury selectboard Chairman John Tenny, quietly sent out inquiries to Ramsay in recent weeks.
“She indicated it might be something she would be interested in,” Tenny said.
She discussed the proposal with Finger, and on Tuesday formally accepted the job. Ramsay’s selection, Tenny noted, fills what had become a lengthy staff vacancy and assures the town will not have to engage in a time-consuming and potentially drawn-out search for a new manager when Finger retires.
“It keeps the town on an even keel going forward,” Tenny said.
Tenny said a search would not have produced a better candidate.
“Kathleen Ramsay has really spent 11 years preparing for this position,” he said. “She is ready to take on this next challenge.”
Ramsay said she has enjoyed her work in Pittsford and in Killington, where she helped establish and staff an economic development department, among other accomplishments. But Ramsay, who grew up in Leicester, now looks forward to returning to Middlebury and taking on some new challenges, including planning for new fire department facilities and town offices.
“I think it will be a great time and a great transition,” Ramsay said.
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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