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NEW FINANCE DIRECTOR HIRED

Jennifer Kennelly
Jennifer Kennelly

The town of Williston announced last week that Jennifer Kennelly has been hired as the new Finance Director. Kennelly, a Williston resident, was selected out of 24 candidates for the position. Kennelly currently serves as Director of Finance for the grocery co-op City Market in Burlington, a position she has held for the past eight years.

“I believe Kennelly has the leadership skills, experience and personal qualities that we’ve come to expect of our employees,” Town Manager Rick McGuire said. An offer of employment was finalized in recent weeks, following the completion of background and reference checks, he said. Her official start date is Sept. 26.

Six candidates were initially interviewed for the job, McGuire said, and following the first round of interviews, two candidates were selected for a final interview. While many were qualified individuals, McGuire said Kennelly stood out because she most closely matched the profile that was developed at the outset of the recruitment process through input from town staff.  “Ms. Kennelly will be a valued addition to our management team and I look forward to working with her,” he said.

She replaces current Finance Director Susan Lamb, “who is leaving big shoes to fill,” he added.

Kennelly said she was honored to be selected for the position.

“It is with a great deal of excitement and gratitude that I accept the offer of employment,” she said. “I look forward to supporting the town manager, Selectboard, town departments and the Williston community members,” she said. Kennelly will be taking over for Lamb, who is retiring Oct. 1, after 20 years of years of service.

SCHOOL NEEDS BOND TOURS

The Williston School Board is proposing a bond to renovate Williston Central School, the amount of which will be decided at an upcoming board meeting. Voters will decide on Nov. 8 whether to approve the bond, but in the meantime, the district is giving tours of the school to show where, and how, renovations are needed.  The intention of the walking tours of the school is to help community members see the problems with the school and share the main goals for renovation: providing a safe and healthy environment for students to learn in; repairing the building and renewing it for use as a community asset for future generations; and to reduce the environmental impacts and operating costs of the school. While two tours have already been given, a third tour takes place Thursday, Sept. 15, at 5:45 p.m. The tour lasts 45 minutes and gives taxpayers one way to interact with the school board prior to the vote. Another way is to visit the new website at wcsboard.wsdvt.org and provide comments and feedback via e-mail at wsdschoolboard@cssu.org. The board will finalize the bond at its meeting Tues., Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at CVU in classroom 142. The meeting is open to the public and feedback can be given then as well.

CHOWDER VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

The Williston Police Department is looking for volunteers to help with the Williston Chowder Challenge on Sunday, Sept. 18. The challenge, which features 19 restaurants, runs from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Village Green and proceeds will benefit the Williston Community Food Shelf and the Williston Police Officers’ Association. The Department is looking for more volunteers to sign up to help out with the challenge, and asks for interested community members to email BurtaBarrKelley@gmail.com for more. Vendors are also sought for the afternoon event, and anyone interested in renting a table to sell crafts or other local products can write to willistonchowder@yahoo.com.

SEWER/WATER/STORMWATER BILLS

The quarterly water/sewer/stormwater bills have been mailed, according to the Town Clerk. Payments are due by Sept. 30.

HOMESTEAD DECLARATION

The town of Williston Listers’/Assessor’s office has recently identified approximately 125 parcels that they believe should be filing the HS-122 form (Homestead Declaration). The state will not be sending any letters to the owners of these parcels until September.

In the meantime, property owners are advised to check their tax bills received in July 2016.  If they show the education portion as “NON-RESIDENTIAL”, that indicates that an HS-122 was probably not filed and not downloaded to the Town Grand List by the State of Vermont tax department. If residents have not filed this form or the HI-144 (Household Income,) which is required to receive the property tax adjustment payment, they are urged to do so as soon as possible. The last key filing date is Oct. 15 with a state payment two weeks later.  If residents do not file by that Oct. 15 deadline, they are not eligible to receive the residential tax rate or any property tax adjustment payment. If a taxpayer has filed for an extension for income taxes, with a possible filing date after Oct.15, the HS-122 and HI-144 should be processed before that date. They can be filed via the State of Vermont website or with hardcopy forms via the mail.

Information regarding these two forms can be found at vermont.gov and link to the tax department in the property owners’ section.  Questions can be directed to the State tax department at 828-6825 or the Williston Listers/Assessor’s office at 878-1091. Please note that the town only sees downloads from the State of Vermont tax department and does not receive any of the taxpayer’s filings with the state tax department.

ROVER TOUR FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE

The Rover is CSWD’s mobile household hazardous waste collection unit that stops once in each town during the tour and accepts household hazardous waste from residents. The Rover accepts household hazardous wastes such as paints and stains, automotive fluids, hobby supplies, pesticides, fertilizers, household cleaners and similar items with the words “Danger,” “Caution,” “Warning,” or “Poison” on the label.

The Rover Schedule (all Saturdays):

Sept. 10: Richmond CSWD Drop-Off Center 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Sept. 24: Huntington Center Fire Station 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Oct. 1: Williston CSWD Drop-Off Center 8 a.m.-3:30p.m.

Oct. 8: St. George Town Center 9 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Oct. 15: Bolton Fire Station 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

For more information, call the CWSD Hotline at 872-8111 or visit cswd.net.

SEEKING BEAR TEETH

Observer contributed diagram The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is asking bear hunters to submit bear teeth at big game check stations this hunting season so wildlife managers can collect critical information on Vermont's bear population.
Observer contributed diagram
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is asking bear hunters to submit bear teeth at big game check stations this hunting season so wildlife managers can collect critical information on Vermont’s bear population.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is reminding successful bear hunters to make every effort to submit a bear tooth so wildlife managers can collect critical information on Vermont’s bear population.

Teeth submitted by hunters are used to determine the ages of bears. Department staff use age and sex data to estimate the number of bears in Vermont and to determine the status and health of the bear population.  Envelopes for submitting teeth are available at all big game check stations.

“Successful bear hunters have a real opportunity to give back to our management of this magnificent big game animal,” said Forest Hammond, bear project leader for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “The premolar tooth we’re asking hunters to extract is actually small and easy to loosen with a knife,” he said. Directions for removing a tooth are provided on the back of envelopes provided by the check station, he said, and a video can be found on the Department’s website.

“Carefully regulated hunting plays a very important role in wildlife management by helping to control the growth of Vermont’s bear population now estimated at about 5,500 bears,” said Hammond. “Minor fluctuations in the bear population will always occur due to changes in food availability, winter severity and hunter success.  Despite these fluctuations, we look at the long-term trends to manage for a healthy, robust population.”