Town administrator plans to retire next October

Just after Halloween, the Charlotte Selectboard got a belated trick-or-treat.

Although he will work for another year, giving the town ample notice to search for his replacement, town administrator Dean Bloch has resigned and plans to begin reaping the rewards of retirement.

Toward the end of the selectboard’s meeting on Nov. 2, it sounded like Bloch would be gone by this time next year.

A few days later he confirmed that he had submitted his letter of resignation on Nov. 1 and his last day will be Oct. 31, 2023.

“It has been a pleasure to work for the town of Charlotte for 23 years,” Bloch said in his letter of resignation. “In providing this notice, my intention is to do what is best for the town to ensure a smooth transition.”

Bloch was hired as a part-time town planner in 1999. He became selectboard assistant while continuing as town planner in 2003. Ten years later, he became town administrator.

Before starting work in Charlotte, Bloch said, he worked in other towns and as a planner at the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission.

The selectboard was audibly dismayed when the subject came up.

“I work with him every day and have for a year and a half, and we’re really, really lucky to have him,” chair Jim Faulkner said.

Faulkner has been impressed at Bloch’s diligence in seeing that things that need to be done, get done.

“I felt one year of notice will allow for a very deliberate process of finding and onboarding the person who will replace me and help to ensure a smooth transition,” Bloch said in an email.

Bloch and his wife live in Jericho, which is where they plan to stay for the time being. They are contemplating building a small addition to their house.

With the town working to take over management of the Charlotte Volunteer Fire and Rescue, it’s natural to question whether Charlotte should consider transitioning to a town manager form of municipal government.

A couple of years ago Hinesburg made this change after it decided to start a full-time ambulance service.

In his email, Bloch said if the selectboard decided to change to a town manager, it would need a charter that would need to be voted on in March.

“It could be fine to stay with a town administrator, but that decision should be made deliberately and not because there isn’t enough time,” Bloch said.