July 2, 2022

Tom Marsh Leaving as Chester First Selectman Aug. 1 to Become Town Manager of Windsor, Vt.

Chester First Selectman, Tom Marsh

CHESTER— First Selectman Tom Marsh will resign effective August 1 to become the appointed town manager in Windsor, Vermont. Marsh, who has served as first selectman since 2005, announced his plans at a special meeting of the board of selectmen this week.

Marsh said Thursday he had decided last December that he would not seek re-election for a fourth term this year, and began applying for town manager jobs in various New England towns in February. Marsh said he learned in May that he was a finalist for the job in Windsor, and interviewed for the position on May 20. Marsh said he was notified on June 7 that the town’s five-member board of selectmen had voted to offer him the job.

Windsor is a town of about 3,800 people, located on the Connecticut River about 15-miles south of White River Junction. The town has about 40 employees, more than Chester, including a police department with about 15 full or part-time officers.

Marsh, a married father of three, said he and his wife, Kathy, had purchased a foreclosed house in Windsor, and would put their home on Route 145 in Chester on the market next year. Marsh said it would be a “stretched out transition” for the family because Kathy intends to complete her term as Republican registrar of voters for Chester that expires in November.

Marsh, a 21-year Chester resident, said he would miss the town, noting that his children attended Region 4 schools and his parents are buried at the St. Joseph Cemetery. “Chester will always be a home to me,” he said.

Marsh, a Republican, was elected in 2005, defeating six-term Democratic First Selectman Martin Haft by a narrow margin. He was re-elected wide margins, defeating Democrat Justin Good in 2007 and Democrat Charles DellaRocco in 2009. Last year, Marsh announced a long shot bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination, but later decided to change his voter registration from Republican to unaffiliated to run for governor under the banner of the Waterbury-based Connecticut Independent Party. Marsh received 17,629 votes for governor on the Independent line last November, and later rejoined the Republican Party.

Under state law, Republican Selectman Tom Englert and Democratic Selectman Larry Sypher will have 30 days after the Aug. 1 resignation to appoint an interim first selectman who would serve until the end of the current term on Nov.22. If Englert and Sypher cannot agree on the appointment by the end of August, the selection would go to a committee of Republican town elected officials that would be comprised on two people, Englert and Kathy Marsh.
Marsh said Englert, an employee of Whelen Engineering who was elected as his running-mate in 2009, will seek another term on the board of selectmen, but is not interested in serving as first selectman. No candidates have announced their intention to run for the Democratic and Republican nominations for first selectman that will be decided at party nominating caucuses held between July 19-26. The municipal election will be held on Nov. 8.

Marsh said he is hopeful the two selectmen can agree on an interim replacement to help insure a smooth transition during August. He said the board of selectmen would discuss the situation at its July 5 meeting, with the name of a potential interim replacement possibly being announced before the meeting.