Chester board appoints interim Zoning Administrator, again Current ZA steps down after four months

By Shawn Cunningham
© 2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Zoning Administrator Jill Barger talks about zoning enforcement at a December Select Board meeting shortly after her appointment.

Just days short of completing her fourth month as Chester’s Zoning Administrator, Jill Barger unexpectedly resigned late last week.

Then on Tuesday afternoon of this week, the town’s Select Board re-appointed Cathy Hasbrouck to the position of interim ZA until another candidate can be appointed to the permanent post.

Hasbrouck previously served in the post between August and December 2020, following the retirement of Michael Normyle who had held the job for more than 10 years. Barger was one of two “highly qualified” candidates interviewed for the job by the Planning commission. The other candidate, Greg Kepler, has been contacted and remains interested in the position, according to Town Manager Julie Hance.

In December, Barger, an attorney, told the board that her main concern was the quality of life in Chester. “That requires people to follow some basic rules and standards that the community has set out,” said Barger, adding that making sure the environment was safe may sometimes “step on some toes” with what people want to do. “Beautification of a community and maintaining beautification is very important.”

At a special Select Board meeting Tuesday afternoon, Hance said that Barger had told her that a difficult transition into the job had made her decide not to continue.

Kepler is a retired engineer, and Hasbrouck is setting up an interview with him for Hance who hopes to be able to present him for appointment at the April 7 meeting. Hance said she wanted to move quickly on the interim and permanent appointments because permits are piling up and need to be processed and that by law, the Zoning Administrator is the only person who has the authority to do that.

The board voted unanimously to appoint Hasbrouck in the interim.

 

 

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