Longtime Montpelier city manager loses job
MONTPELIER, Vt. -
After more than 20 years on the job, Montpelier’s city manager is looking for a new one.
He’s been a familiar face for residents in Montpelier for the last two decades, but now he’s looking for new work.
“I was very disappointed. I’ve put my life’s work into this community,” said Bill Fraser, city manager.
Fraser found out Wednesday night that the city council and mayor opted not to renew his contract for another year. He says he was surprised because he thought it was only a check-in meeting.
“We had had some tensions last year, I knew there was not full satisfaction with some of my style, but I was hoping we could be moving forward,” said Fraser.
“The city council has been divided on this issue for more than a year,” said Montpelier Mayor John Hollar.
Hollar cast the deciding vote to oust Fraser. He says there was no wrongdoing by Fraser, but he made that decision because he felt the city needed fresh leadership.
“I feel like it’s important for the city manager to have the full confidence of the city council and for the city council to have a majority in support of its manager and that hasn’t existed for some time,” said Hollar.
But Fraser won’t be leaving with nothing. Because he has worked for the city for so long. Under the terms of his contract, Fraser is entitled to about $86,000 of severance pay, plus benefits.
Now Fraser says, he’s weighing his options, but he wants to stay in Montpelier if he can.
“I feel like I can hold my head high. I think I’ve done a fine job for the community,” said Fraser.
Fraser’s contract is up in March. He says it’s too early to say whether he will finish out his term.
The mayor says there is no timeline yet for when the search for a new city manager will begin, but he expects they will have to appoint an interim manager once Fraser leaves.