After almost 17 years, Rodney Jones is leaving his position as road foreman in Waitsfield. This is his last week on the job.
At an April 26 meeting, the Waitsfield Select Board ratified a letter of resignation from Jones that includes a severance package of $23,000. That includes the town paying Jones the balance of his fiscal year salary (through June 30, 2022) of $10,807.44. It also includes the town continuing to pay his health care costs of $820 a month through the end of 2022 - $5,740. Additionally, Jones will be paid $6,616.80 for unused vacation time.
The letter of resignation that the select board ratified this week was written on March 23 and amended on April 11 and notes that “by mutual agreement, you are resigning as the Waitsfield road foreman.” The letter provides no reason for Jones’ resignation, but a separate press release from the select board said that Jones was retiring to pursue other opportunities.
At this week’s meeting, the select board appointed Josh Rodgers, who has served on the town’s road crew for the past 10 years, to replace Jones as foreman. At the March meeting the board amended the pay scale for the road foreman and other road crew members. The board took that action in executive session but did not make the new rates available until this week.
Prior to the rate change, the FY22 road foreman rate was $27.57 per hour, one road crew member’s rate was $25.53 an hour, and the second road crew member’s rate was $21.65 an hour.
On March 14 the select board authorized an hourly increase for Rodgers (at that time Road Maintainer 1) to $30 an hour to take effect that week.
Now that Rodgers has been appointed road foreman his wage remains $30 an hour, one road crew member’s rate (the position Rodgers has left) is $25.53 through the end of the FY22 year, and $26.55 per hour in FY23. The third road crew member’s rate did not change.
“Rodney has served the town exceptionally well over the years and will be missed. We are fortunate, however, that Josh is available and willing to step into this role. He has the experience and skills needed to continue providing the high level of service town residents and visitors have grown accustomed to,” said select board chair Christine Sullivan,
Road commissioner Charlie Goodman echoed those sentiments.
“Rodney has done a great job. He has always put community first and played a critical role steering the town’s recovery from several major flood events, including Tropical Storm Irene,” Goodman stated.
Jones’ departure and Rodgers’ new role leaves a vacancy on the three-member road crew. Town administrator Annie Decker-Dell'Isola said that the town will be advertising for the position in the coming days.