Charlotte hires new director for recreation department

On Monday, June 17, the Charlotte Selectboard held a special meeting which had been planned to be just 45 minutes. The majority of the meeting consisted of two executive sessions.

The first executive session ended shortly after it began with the board returning to open public meeting and, with Lewis Mudge absent, the four board remaining members voting unanimously to offer Zac Farnham-Haskell a position as the town’s new recreation director.

The rec director position was open because Nicole Conley stepped down to take a job in the Colchester parks and recreation department. Conley will be manager of that town’s new recreation center.

A couple of years ago, Conley had been part of a committee advocating for Charlotte to build a community recreation center.

Farnham-Haskell has worked for the Bristol Recreation Department’s teen center and skatepark since last year, according to its website. He grew up in Essex Junction and graduated from the University of Vermont. During high school and college, he participated in soccer, track and field. He has worked as a teacher, administrator and behavior specialist.

He has accepted Charlotte’s offer at a salary of $45,500 and starts July 8.

The four board members also voted unanimously to hire town road commissioner Junior Lewis to replace the pump station for the bathrooms at the town beach. The work is to be done for not more than $14,000.

The second executive session was planned for 15 minutes, but it ran for around an hour. The announced reason for the closed session was to discuss a formal complaint against a public officer.

When that session ended, the board did not take any action.

Board member Kelly Devine said the executive session was called because of two complaints against a member of the development review board. Because the matter is “a relatively new situation in Charlotte,” she said the board felt it should seek advice from the Vermont League of Cities and Towns.

“Not only do we want to be able to deal with this current situation fairly, but we also want to be sure to have a process in place should this happen again,” Devine said.

As the board’s schedule permits over the next several months, it plans to hear from both people who made the complaints as well as the person who the complaints were directed at, she said.

The board unanimously approved having board member Frank Tenney be “the point person” for the selectboard in the matter.