City taps Mel Hawley as deputy mayor

VERGENNES — In a 4-3 vote on Tuesday the Vergennes City Council chose former longtime city manager Mel Hawley as deputy mayor over fellow new Councilor Dickie Austin. 
Voting in favor of Hawley were Mayor Lynn Donnelly, Hawley, and Councilors David Austin and Lowell Bertrand. Bertrand nominated Hawley after Hawley expressed interest in the position. 
Backing Dickie Austin were the other two council newcomers, Councilors Ian Huizenga and Jill Murray-Killon. Huizenga nominated Austin, noting he was the leading vote-getter in the Sept. 22 election to fill four vacancies on the council. 
Dickie Austin, Huizenga, Murray-Killon and former councilor David Small ran as a joint slate of candidates. 
Small and Hawley tied behind Huizenga for a seat that carries a term that will expire in March, while Dickie Austin and Murray-Killon easily won terms that run until March 2021.
Hawley then defeated Small in an Oct. 20 runoff election.
Donnelly said at Tuesday’s meeting she believed Austin would be a good choice, but she cast her vote for Hawley because of his extensive experience in city government. 
Before he retired in 2018, Hawley served as city manager for more than 30 years, with a 10-year break in the private sector. He also worked a number of other city positions, including tax collector, assessor and zoning administrator.

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