English fills a key post for the town of Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY — The town of Middlebury’s administrative team will be fully staffed for the first time in eight months on April 30 when Chris English formally begins his duties as the new “administrative coordinator.”
English’s duties will include assisting Town Manager Kathleen Ramsay and department heads with personnel issues, as well as leading community outreach efforts through social media and other outlets. He will also help organize public meetings, according to Ramsay.
The hiring of English comes almost eight months after the town’s assistant town manager position was vacated. Ramsay formerly held that post but left it when she succeeded Bill Finger as town manager back on Sept. 1, 2012. Ramsay, with some help from her staff, has essentially been fulfilling the duties of both jobs during the past several months. The community has saved $25,000-$30,000 in salary and benefits by leaving the position vacant while the town searched (and found) a new business development director and Ilsley Library director. Ramsay has spent recent weeks looking at the assistant town manager position and figuring out how it could be redesigned — with a different title — in a manner that would allow her to maintain oversight over budget matters. Middlebury’s assistant town manager has historically served as the business manager.
So the town recently advertised for an administrative coordinator, and English emerged as the top candidate for the $42,000-per-year post.
“When Chris applied for the job, it all came together,” Ramsay said.
She specifically cited his more than 20 years of management experience working for AT&T’s Global Real Estate Division in New Jersey, including six years as communications manager and business planning for senior-level executives of that corporation. In that role, he authored a variety of policy documents related to corporate real estate space standards and took a lead role in providing policy interpretation and tracking compliance. He has experience as a project manager and trainer and is proficient in current workplace technologies, according to Ramsay.
After moving to Cornwall with his wife in 2007, English spent a year working for Ilsley Library Director David Clark as his administrative assistant. From 2010 to 2012, he was co-owner and general manager of Jackson’s on the River Restaurant. Since closing Jackson’s last summer, he has been working as an executive assistant at Kimball Office Services in Bristol. English has also worked as a volunteer grant writer for the Platt Memorial Library in Shoreham, served as the board chair for the Cornwall Public Library and is now a member of the Opera Company of Middlebury’s board of directors.
“This is very exciting for me,” English said on Monday. “I have been looking to get back into Middlebury since we closed Jackson’s.”
English said he saw the ad for the administrative coordinator back in February. He quickly applied.
“It seemed to be perfectly aligned with my corporate background,” he said. “Everything I read (in the ad) seemed to be ‘me.’”
He looks forward to making connections with Middlebury municipal employees with whom he will be working.
With English hired, the community will now focus on hiring a new town planner to succeed Fred Dunnington, who will be retiring July 1.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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