City clerk interviews to begin

VERGENNES — Advertising for the open position of Vergennes City Clerk had as of Tuesday drawn 14 applicants, Vergennes City Manager Daniel Hofman told the city council at its June 22 meeting. 
Hofman said the hiring committee planned to winnow the field and begin conducting a first round of interviews on Thursday and Friday. 
He said the committee was pleased with the pool, saying it included “some very strong applicants.”
A second round of interviews would include meetings with the council. 
Longtime City Clerk Joan Devine has come out of her recent retirement to help out on a part-time basis until a new permanent replacement is found. Her first replacement, Morgan Kittredge, was let go before the end of her probationary period. 
Hofman also told the council that an intern would be serving as an administrative assistant at city hall this summer, beginning on July 6.
In other business, on June 22, councilors:
•  Heard from Hofman the city pool was ready to be opened, on the previously outlined limited basis, on July 1. As of Tuesday he and the city recreation coordinator said about $5,400 of passes for the pool had been sold, with about $30,000 needed for the pool to break even this summer according to Hofman earlier this month. Hofman said he would use the pool’s fund balance and/or the Watershed fund to make up any shortfall.
•  Heard from Police Chief Merkel that Officer Adam O’Neil had distinguished himself by successfully calming a combative motorist at a Main Street traffic stop, an incident witnessed by a number of customers of Olsen’s Ice Cream. Merkel said the business owner contacted him to praise O’Neil. 
“I’d like to recognize him for a tremendous job,” Merkel said. 
•  Heard from Public Works Department Head Jim Larrow that repairs to city docks were complete, and the docks would be installed by July 1. Larrow also singled out department employee Matt Crowley for his efforts to prepare the city pool for opening.
• Agreed that Michael Donnelly, Alderman Bill Benton and Hofman should sit down with Friends of the Vergennes Opera House President Gerianne Smart to revisit how city hall maintenance responsibilities should be shared. That discussion was triggered by a recent $5,000 estimate for fire protection system repairs, largely for the upstairs theater, according to Hofman.
Benton noted the lease agreement that includes maintenance provisions dates back to 2003 and might have to be updated, but said, “We don’t have to get into a big fight over it.”

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