Swift resigns from Brandon selectboard
BRANDON — Brandon Selectman Ethan Swift has tendered his resignation, effective following the Sept. 12 meeting.
Swift announced his decision at the Aug. 22 selectboard meeting.
“I felt like it was time,” he said in an interview the next day. “It’s almost exactly six years since I was appointed, and near the five-year anniversary of Irene. It occurred to me that this was a good time to step down and give someone else a chance to serve.”
The former chair of the Brandon Planning Commission, Swift was appointed to the one-year seat in the fall of 2010, and re-elected for five consecutive terms.
Swift is a watershed coordinator for the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation. He was instrumental in directing Brandon’s flood mitigation efforts upstream along the Neshobe River after the town was flooded during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. Swift was also adamant that the town not move back into the flood-damaged town office building until those mitigation efforts were implemented, and necessary flood proofing was done in the building. The town office building re-opened in April after a $500,000 renovation.
Swift also served through two previous town managers and 2013, when there were six failed budget votes in Brandon. Since then, three new members have joined the board, former Selectman Dave Atherton was hired as the town manager and Daryl Burlett was hired as the Public Works superintendent. Flood damage has been repaired, the town’s finances are in order, public opinion of town officials is good, and morale among town employees is high.
“We’ve accomplished a great deal,” Swift said. “The flood recovery really stands out. We have good momentum and a great board and a really competent staff. It’s nice to step down knowing things are going in the right direction.”
Swift also cited family and work responsibilities as reasons for resigning now. He and his wife, Annsonee, have two daughters, ages five and 12.
Swift also said that by resigning now, the next selectboard member will be able to go through the town budget process in the run up to town meeting in March.
“It would be nice for the selectboard to be able to appoint someone now so they could benefit from going through the budget process and going through the responsibilities of the board,” he said. “They can use this time leading up to town meeting to gain insight into how the board works.”
Swift said he is looking forward to spending more time with his family, and maybe watching some football on Monday nights instead of having to go to a selectboard meeting every other Monday. That said, he reiterated that he is very happy with the direction of the current board and the town.
“I truly feel honored to have served as long as I have,” Swift said. “I’m so grateful and appreciative of the voters for supporting me for five consecutive terms. We’ve been through some difficult times, and it’s nice to have the confidence of the voters.”
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