Morristown chooses police chief as interim administrator as 3rd budget revote looms
MORRISTOWN, Vt. (WCAX) - Morristown’s Selectboard Monday picked the police chief to fill the role of interim town administrator. It comes as the community prepares for a third revote of the town budget.
The Morristown Selectboard chose Police Chief Jason Luneau to fill the spot of Town Administrator Eric Dodge, who is stepping down. Luneau will be paid a $500 per week stipend until the position is filled permanently.
“A lot of work has been done by our human resources director to find someone who maybe was a prior town manager or administrator, but that search has proven not to give us anyone in the near future,” Dodge said.
The chief says he will have to spend a few days in the office to help with some of the workload but he assured residents at the meeting that the police force will not be understaffed.
The town budget, which was rejected on Town Meeting Day and June 6, included a 25% increase in spending. The biggest cost increases were for salaries and benefits for town employees.
Some residents voiced concern about town employees’ salaries when they voted down Morristown’s budget for the second time on June 6. “I, myself, think there are a lot of positions in this town that are unneeded,” one resident said during public comments.
Selectboard Member Don McDowell said they need to pay employees a fair wage. “I’m very proud of our police department -- as I’m sure you all are -- and they’re getting those raises because they have those bills to pay,” he said.
The select board ultimately voted to keep town worker salaries as they were and take money out of the highway department.
The board has not yet chosen a new date to vote on the budget.
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