Retiring City Manager: Parting Words

Dear South Burlington residents: 

As you may have heard, I am retiring as your City Manager on June 30, at 5 PM.  Before leaving I want to express my great appreciation for allowing me the honor to serve you these past 8 plus years.  I have been awed by the amount of citizen involvement in the governing of our community, and also in those volunteer activities that make this such a great place to live and work.  South Burlington is a truly outstanding community made so by you, the residents, and I know you all take pride in that.

I have had the privilege of working with an outstanding team of City employees who are the very best and most capable people I have ever had the chance to work with.  The talent at all levels of City Government is absolutely best in class and I, and we all, owe so much to them for the many successes we have had during my time here in City Hall.  I have such great respect for all our City employees take on in their jobs, from providing for our public safety, to checking out a book, to signing your child up for a summer camp, to providing us clean water and water treatment facilities, to planning for our community’s future, to building facilities, to managing our finances and our legal liabilities; these jobs are not always easy  and I would encourage you to thank your City employees whenever you get a chance for the outstanding job they do in providing you services. 

I also want to thank the several City Council members for who I have worked during these times.  As I said at the Council meeting last Monday our elected leaders are the cornerstone of our democracy and the “Great American Experiment” cannot endure without citizens stepping up to the plate to offer their service to the voters.  Our Councilors spend an enormous amount of time learning the issues, studying materials for upcoming meetings, talking to residents and then applying their best judgement to the issues at hand.  There is often not a lot of thanks service of this kind and we should all be really thankful for their willingness to take on the hard job of leading this community as elected representatives.  To the Council, I thank you for providing me this opportunity to serve and for the support, guidance, vision and friendship you have given me over these years.

As for the Council, they have made a brilliant choice in hiring Jessie Baker as the next City Manager. Jessie is an accomplished public servant with tremendous intellect, energy and enthusiasm for her work in serving the public.  Jessie comes to you after four years as City Manager in Winooski and several years as Deputy Manager in Montpelier.  Jessie is a “local kid” having grown up in Waterbury, leaving Vermont for college and the beginning of her career, and then returning to make a difference here in her home state.  And now Jessie has tapped another local kid, Andrew Bolduc, our current City Attorney, to be her Deputy Manager.  Andrew grew up in South Burlington and is an inspired choice for Deputy.  Together they will provide tremendous leadership for this community. 

Lastly I want to thank the greatest Deputy City Manager on the planet; Tom Hubbard.  As you may also know, Tom and I are retiring on the same day; Tom after 42 plus years of working for you first in the Recreation Department and later as Deputy Manager.  Tom is the epitome of a public servant and he has been a highly competent, loyal and trusted partner in managing the City.  Imagine dedicating your entire career, from graduating college to retirement, with one employer and one community.  That’s dedication folks, and Tom Hubbard is the standard bearer for dedication.  Thank you Tom, for everything you have done for this community over 42 years.

It is hard not to thank back over the years and the many opportunities and challenges we have faced.  I’d like to think after starting in rough seas back in 2013 that we have kept the ship called South Burlington sailing forward in calmer waters.  There is much that I feel proud of for our team and I know the future is bright for this community.  There are many additional things that I would like us to have achieved before leaving but those are things that the Council, Jessie and Andrew, our team here at the City and our great residents will take on.

Again, the future is bright for South Burlington.  Stay involved and keep moving forward.

With great respect and appreciation,

Kevin Dorn

City Manager