Milton has a new chief administrative officer. Donna Barlow Casey started work last week as the tenth Milton Town Manager, and the first woman to hold the job since its creation in 1978.
"Donna possesses excellent leadership skills and a can do attitude, which will be perfect to tackle a wide range of issues to assist us in making Milton a better community,” Select Board Chair Darren Adams said in a news release.
Barlow Casey comes to Milton from Montpelier, where she worked as the city's Interim Department of Public Works Operations Manager. She has also worked as director of the Center for Sustainable Practices at Vermont Technical College and director of the Central Vermont Solid Waste Management District.
“I am very excited to be joining the Milton community,” Barlow Casey said in the announcement. “Times of growth present inevitable challenges, but my interactions with community members, town staff and the Select Board have given me confidence that we have the resources to bring Milton to a new and vibrant place.”
The Milton Select Board agreed to offer Barlow Casey the job after a search process that was, at times, contentious. An independent community search committee interviewed ten candidates out of over 50 applicants, and recommended five candidates to the select board.
The board interviewed those five candidates and also engaged in talks with former Town Manager Sanford Miller, who was not recommended by the search committee. As VPR reported in June, the select board planned to negotiate a six month interim contract with Miller, but public outcry put an end to that plan.
Instead, the board identified two finalists out of the five interviewees. Each finalist spent a day in Milton, meeting staff and community members, and taking part in a second select board interview during an open meeting. The board unanimously approved Barlow Casey and ratified her contract earlier this month.