By Shaw Israel Izikson, Contributor
At the regular Selectboard meeting on Monday, Sept. 27, Chair Matt Krasnow announced that he would be resigning as chair but will remain on the board as a member.
Krasnow has served as chair of the Selectboard since March 2014.
At the annual town meeting in March 2020, Krasnow was elected to a three-year term.
Krasnow discussed his resignation at the meeting during an agenda item marked “Personnel issue and Personnel policy – executive session likely.”
However, Krasnow said that “I think it’s probably best to do this in an open session, just after a lot of thought about this.”
Krasnow explained that considering he and his wife are expecting another child in two weeks and he is contending with “new professional responsibilities” he did not feel he had “the bandwidth to do service to the town or the Selectboard in leading as chairman of the board.”
He added that extra duties associated with the upcoming budget season also played a role in his decision to step down.
According to his LinkedIn profile, Krasnow previously worked as both a maintenance technician and maintenance supervisor at ICV Construction, In. in Burlington from April 2016 to August 2021.
Since August 2021, he has worked as a construction superintendent at Bullrock Corporation in Shelburne.
“After a lot of thought about how I can still serve the town, and really prioritize time commitments professionally and be home for a very special time, I think the best way to go is to step down as chairman of the Selectboard,” Krasnow said.
Krasnow then made a two-part motion for the Selectboard to accept his resignation effective Sunday, Oct. 10, and to install selectman James Faulkner as its new chairman as of Monday, Oct. 11, right before the next scheduled regular Selectboard meeting.
Faulkner was first elected to the Selectboard in 2019 after winning a three-year seat vacated by Lane Morrison.
“I’ve been working in the past six months with Jim on a couple of dozen projects, and he seems that he has the time and experience to devote to it,” Krasnow said. “My ability and bandwidth have been dwindling, so we have been working more and more together. I think he is doing a great job and I think it will be a smooth transition.”
“My only thing is, why make this a two-part motion?” Vice-Chairman Frank Tenney said. “This should be a one-part motion. I don’t agree with making a two-part motion in picking your own successor. It has nothing to do with whether or not Jim is capable. I just think it should be separate motions.”
“As part of the responsibility of being an elected chair, I felt like that I should take some of the responsibility of coming up with the ability to offer a suggestion about how leadership should move, so I did want to make a two-part motion tonight,” Krasnow said.
“I understand that, but at the beginning of every year after election day we all come together and we don’t look towards the chair of the previous board to say who should be the chair of the new board,” Tenney told Krasnow. “What happens is someone gets nominated.”
Faulkner said he thought it was important to keep Tenney as vice-chairman for board consistency.
“There is a lot of history and knowledge there that [Tenney] can provide,” Faulkner said. “I think he’s invaluable and it’s important as hell.”
“Frank is a real repository of knowledge,” Selectman Louise McCarren said. “His depth of knowledge of this town and how he works is valuable.”
“I just don’t agree with the double motion,” Tenney said.
The board approved Krasnow’s motions.
In an email to The Charlotte News on September 29, Krasnow wrote that he informed the Selectboard at the meeting of his decision to resign as chairman, and not beforehand.
“I listed it as a possible executive session because open meeting laws allow executive session discussions when matters of employees and appointments need to be discussed,” Krasnow wrote. “My initial plan was to discuss my decision with the board in executive session and discuss how the board wanted to move forward in a cohesive way. The town attorney let me know that the statute is clear on the issue that the Chair is an elected position (albeit by the Board and not the electorate) and not an appointed position (like ZBA and Planning Commission members) and so there was no grounds to support executive session discussion on this topic. They advised me to have the conversation in an open meeting and I followed their counsel.”
When pressed by reporters for The Charlotte News, Krasnow admitted that he informed Faulkner of his plans to resign not at the Sept. 27 meeting but sometime after he made the decision to resign two weeks ago.
Frank Tenney told The News that he first found out about Krasnow’s resignation at the Sept. 27 meeting. Other Selectboard members declined to state on the record when they were first made aware of Krasnow’s plans to step down.