Kevin Dorn was approved as South Burlington’s City Manager at a City Council meeting on October 16.

Dorn Takes the Helm as Permanent City Manager

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Thursday October 24, 2013

 It’s official. At a special meeting of the City Council on Wednesday, October 16, Kevin Dorn was unanimously approved to become South Burlington’s permanent City Manager. Chris Shaw made the motion and Pat Nowak seconded as about forty onlookers gathered in the City Hall conference room to extend their well wishes at the celebratory event. Community members, department heads, staff and  employees including Interim Deputy City Manager Tom Hubbard, Police Chief Whipple, Fire Chief Brent, Fire Marshall Francis, and a number of South Burlington police officers were among those present. 

Dorn has been serving the City of South Burlington as Interim City Manager since April 15, 2013. His selection came as the result of a national search conducted by a Blue Ribbon Search Committee led by Lisa Ventriss. Other members of the committee included John Wilking, Charlie Baker, Martin Kelly, Rene LaBerge, Jessica Louisos, Martha Lyons, Ellen Shapiro, Chris Smith, and David Young. Feedback from the public, via e-mail and meet and greet sessions with the candidates, was also taken into account. 

“The deciding factor for me was the staff. It’s a very professional group, across the board. I’m honored to be part of that,” Dorn said.The feeling is mutual on the part of the staff. Pam Mackenzie said that when staff was asked to provide anonymous feedback on the candidates, not only did they all sign their names, each individual ranked Dorn as their first choice to become City Manager. 

Councilor Rosanne Greco said she has been very impressed with Dorn and thought the fact that the staff unanimously supported him was telling. 

Chris Shaw said he was confident with the choice the Council had made. He noted Dorn’s customer service skills and the way he treats citizens as his customers. “I think there is a lot of respect for him statewide and I hope he will be the face of South Burlington for years to come” Shaw said. 

Dorn’s notable background is one that Mackenzie believes will serve South Burlington well, especially as major developments such as the build out of City Center materialize over the coming years. 

Dorn has a BA in political science with a minor in economics from Minnesota State University at Mankato. Prior to serving as South Burlington’s Interim City Manager, Dorn was the Vermont Secretary of Commerce. Personally, he is involved with civic and business organizations, his church, and his local school board in Essex Junction, where he resides with his wife, Kathryn Finnie and their two daughters. 

Dorn signed a 20 month contract that includes a performance evaluation at the end of each fiscal year and an annual salary of $115,000. Chair Pam Mackenzie said that Dorn will not be accepting health insurance since he already has his own, which results in a cost savings to the city. 

Pat Nowak made the motion to approve the contract and Chris Shaw seconded. Rosanne Greco voted “nay” citing that she felt the contract was “too lucrative.” “I’m voting against the contract, but not against you (Dorn)” Greco said. 

“We are very proud to have Kevin join our team,” Mackenzie said, “We listened carefully to the comments from our city leadership and gave great weight to the input of all 17 members of that team. We look forward to working with Kevin on the business of our great city.”

SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent