The Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) recognized four champions of municipal government at Town Fair in Killington – the largest gathering of Vermont municipal officials of the year. Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce received the Vermont Municipal Service Award. Vermont State Representative Laura Sibilia of the Windham-Bennington District received the Legislative Service Award. And two municipal managers who have each served more than 30 years in their communities, William Shepeluk of Waterbury and Carl Rogers of Barre, both received VLCT’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Vermont’s cities, towns, and villages are in a stronger position thanks to Beth Pearce, Laura Sibilia, Bill Shepeluk, and Carl Rogers,” said VLCT Executive Director Ted Brady. “Each has contributed to making local governments – their own and those across the entire state – more fiscally sound, more functional, and more resilient.”
During an awards dinner Thursday evening, VLCT Board President Jessie Baker recognized Pearce for her stewardship of the Vermont Municipal Employees’ Retirement System (VMERS). Baker said Pearce’s leadership has ensured that municipal employers and employees shared the burden of shoring up the system while carefully tending to the system’s investments. Baker said the VMERS system is an important recruitment and retention tool for municipal governments competing in a difficult job market. In 2013, Pearce was recognized by VLCT in part for her role in shoring up municipal finances after Tropical Storm Irene.
Brady said Sibilia’s leadership introducing and passing Act 172, a bill that established a $36 million grant program to help municipalities make energy efficiency upgrades, and her championing of universal broadband access made her the obvious recipient of the 2022 VLCT Legislative Service Award. Sibilia is an independent who represents Dover, Readsboro, Searsburg, Somerset, Stamford, Wardsboro, and Whitingham. When not in the State House, she works at Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation , helping communities tackle community and economic development issues.
Baker said VLCT awards the Lifetime Achievement Award only when individuals have an exceptional impact on local government beyond the borders of their own city, town, or village. Brady said both Shepeluk and Rogers have long been known as thoughtful and talented leaders who helped their own communities build infrastructure and rebuild after natural disasters, while also managing the pressures of thousands of selectboard meetings, department head meetings, and citizen concerns.
Shepeluk, who has served as the Waterbury Municipal Manager for 34 years, has been on three different VLCT governing boards, including stints as president on all three. He served on the board that oversaw municipal health insurance plans, he serves on the board that oversees municipal unemployment benefits, and he was on the VLCT Board of Directors for more than a decade. Baker, who now serves as City Manager of South Burlington and presented the award to Shepeluk, said Shepeluk was her first town manager role model as he was the Town Manager while she was growing up in Waterbury.
Rogers, who has been Town Manager in Barre Town for more than 30 years, has served on the board of VLCT’s Property and Casualty Intermunicipal Fund (PACIF) since 2007 and has been president since 2019. He also created the Vermont Regional Emergency Response Commission, which created the Vermont Hazardous Material Response team. He is the local representative on the State Emergency Response Commission and was instrumental in the creation of Community Capital of Vermont.
The Vermont League of Cities and Towns is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, member-based organization that was founded in 1967 with the mission of serving and strengthening Vermont local government. It provides legislative advocacy, educational workshops, consultation, resource materials, and insurance coverage that are all focused on helping municipal officials and staff be able to deliver excellent service to their residents.
# # #
Click photos to download high-resolution photos.
VLCT Executive Director Ted Brady (L) and South Burlington City Manager and VLCT President Jessie Baker (R) present VLCT’s Lifetime Achievement Award to Waterbury Town Manager Bill Shepeluk (C).