OKeefeJohn P. O’Keefe, M.P.A.

Town Manager

(802) 362-1313 (option 2)    j.okeefe@manchester-vt.gov

John was appointed Town Manager in January of 2007. Before moving to Manchester, John served as a member of the senior staff in the Massachusetts Governor’s Office as Executive Director of Legislative Affairs. During his service in the Governor’s Office John managed the Governor’s relationship with the Legislature. Prior to working in the Governor’s Office, John served as the Legislative Director of the Massachusetts Highway Department, as an aide in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and as a budget examiner for the New York State Division of the Budget.

John earned a Bachelors degree in history and United States politics from (SUNY) Potsdam College in Potsdam, New York. John is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the national history honor society. While at Potsdam College John interned in the New York State Assembly (legislature) and studied abroad in Ireland at St. Patrick’s College in the Drumcondra section of Dublin. In 1997 he earned a Masters degree in public administration from SUNY Brockport in Brockport, New York. He graduated from Ogdensburg Free Academy in Ogdensburg, New York.

John lives in Manchester with his wife Sarah, two daughters Daisy and Siobhān, and their four dogs. Among other things, John enjoys downhill skiing, hiking, soccer, yard work and gardening, cooking and spending time with his family. John reports to the elected Town Selectboard.

The Town of Manchester operates under a Selectboard-Town Manager form of government, whereby the elected Selectboard serves as the Town’s chief elected legislative body; the Town Manager reports to the Selectboard and acts as the municipality’s chief administrative officer. Under this system of government, the Selectboard sets policy and the Town Manager implements policy and oversees the day-to-day operations of town government. 

Since 1941 Manchester has had twelve Town Managers. Former Town Managers include W. Robinson Martin (1941-1945), William A. Griffith (1945-1947), George A. Randall (1947-1954), Walter J. Leland (1954-1956), Oakley Porter (1956-1965 and 1971-1974), James Woodard (1965-1969), Walter R. Hazard (1969-1970), Hank Lambert (1975-1979), Harry Henderson (1980-1985), Jeff Wilson (1986 to 2003), Peter Webster (2003 to 2006) and John P. O’Keefe (2007 to present).

Anita L. Sheldon

Town Clerk

(802) 362-1313 (option 1)    a.sheldon@manchester-vt.gov

The office of the municipal clerk is one of the oldest public servants. When the colonist first came to America they set up forms of local government and the office of the Clerk was one of the first established. Over the years, clerks have become the hub of government, the direct link between the town inhabitants and their government.  The clerk is the historian of the community, for the entire recorded history of the town and its people is in the clerk’s care. The eminent political scientist, Professor William Bennett Munro stated: “No other office in municipal service has so many contacts.  It serves the Select Board, the Town Manager and all Administrative Departments without exception.  Its work demands versatility, alertness, accuracy and no end of patience.  The public does not realize how many loose ends this office pulls together.”

Since 1772, Manchester has had 25 Town Clerks: Jeremiah French, 1772; Martin Powel, 1773-1796; Joseph Burr, 1796-1798; Joshua French, 1798-1800; Joel Pratt, 1800-1825; Chester Clark, 1825-1828; M. S. Shepherd, 1828-1832; Lyman Harrington, 1832-1835; R.H. Blackmer, 1835-1836; William Black, 1836-1842; William Sperry, 1842-1845; Samuel Millet, 1845-1846; John Cooke, 1846-1850; Charles Harris, 1850-1853; John Roberts, 1853-1866; Loveland Munson, 1866-1873; D.K. Simonds, 1873-1908; C.A. Shattuck, 1908-1918; Hiram Eggleston, 1918; Alice E. Bennett, 1919-1952; Helen B. Bigelow, 1952-1960; Clara M. Hemenway, 1960-1979; Barbara B. Cross, 1979-1997; Linda L. Spence, 1997-2014; and Anita L. Sheldon, 2014 to present. For more information about the role of the Town Clerk visit the International Institute of Municipal Clerks website.

WoodardRuth Woodard

Director of Accounting & Finance

(802) 362-1313 (option 4)    r.woodard@manchester-vt.gov

Ruth has worked for the Town since December of 1986. As Director of Accounting and Finance, Ruth is in charge of accounting, internal audit, financial reporting and grants management. In her role as Director of Accounting and Finance Ruth works very closely with the elected Town Treasurer Dave Fielding. She is a former special education teacher in Holyoke, Massachusetts and former licensed insurance agent. 

Ruth earned a Bachelors degree, magna cum laude, in elementary education from Moorhead State College in Minnesota and a Bachelors degree, magna cum laude, in accounting from Southern Vermont College in Bennington. Her hobbies include flute performing and teaching flute and piano. She resides in Manchester with her husband Jim and her son Jimmy, a college student. Ruth reports to the Town Manager.

Leslie Perra, SHRM

Human Resources and Operations Manager 

(802) 362-1313 (option 2)    l.perra@manchester-vt.gov

Leslie is responsible for overseeing the Human Resources function of the Town of Manchester.  She is also responsible for oversight of the operations for the Finance Assistant and Executive Assistant and serves as the Assistant Zoning Administrator, Municipal Compliance Officer and Planning Coordinator.

Leslie started her career at Mack Molding Company in Arlington, VT and worked in Human Resources for 12 years.  She then worked for TE Connectivity in North Bennington in several capacities, from Human Resources Manager, to Operations Manager, and finally held the position of Quality/EHS Manager.

Leslie holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from Lesley College.  She also holds her SHRM certification from HRCI. Leslie reports to the Town Manager. Leslie is highly involved in various community organizations including the Sunderland PTA, Arlington Boy Scout Troop 334, to name a few.

Karen K. Lemnah

Town Assessor

(802) 362-1313 (option 5)    k.lemnah@manchester-vt.gov

Karen was appointed Town Assessor as of July 1, 2016. The Town Assessor establishes the value of all properties, for taxation purposes, located in the Town and Village of Manchester.

Karen has been in the real estate professional field for over 25 years. She was a Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser for 15 years; appraising properties in Bennington and Rutland County. She also worked for the Vermont Agency of Transportation as a Right of Way Appraiser for the purpose of Eminent Domain. For the past 5 years Karen worked for a credit union as Vice President in the mortgage department.

Karen serves as a Board of Director for NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, as well as the Chair of the Loan Committee for NeighborWorks of Western Vermont. Karen has resided in Manchester for the past 25 years with her husband Patrick and daughter Avery. She is an avid golfer. Karen reports to the Town Manager.

Janet Hurley

Planning & Zoning Director

(802) 362-1313 (option 3) • j.hurley@manchester-vt.gov

Janet took charge of Planning and Zoning for the town in December 2014. She served previously for the towns of Westford, Milton and South Burlington as a planner, but had a long and varied career as a biological researcher as well.

Janet earned Bachelor of Arts from Earlham College with a major in Biology and a Master of Science in Natural Resource Planning from the University of Vermont. Janet lives in Winhall with her partner, Lesley Brodie, and their son Holden.

Pauline Moore

Economic Development Officer 

(802) 362-1373    p.moore@manchester-vt.gov

Pauline has worked for the Town since 2004. She previously served as the appointed Town Assessor. Prior to that, she was a computer software executive that retired from the industry in 2000 after living around the world in Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore and Brussels were she ran various international operations. Pauline earned a degree in mathematics from Hunter College in New York City.

She is a counselor for SCORE and served on the Board of the Manchester and the Mountains Chamber of Commerce, where she chaired the Community Affairs Committee. Pauline is a past president of the Mark Skinner Library Board. She resides in Manchester with her husband Colin and their border collie Robbie.  She is an avid skier and sailor. Pauline reports to the Town Manager.

chief hall 2

Michael L. Hall

Chief of Police

(802) 362-2121    michael.l.hall@vermont.gov

Chief Hall has been a police officer with the town of Manchester since 1983. He was born in Manchester and is a graduate of Burr and Burton Academy. Prior to entering law enforcement, he worked in the mechanical and logistics industries.

His professional experiences include service as a police instructor, investigator, supervisor and field training officer. Michael was appointed Chief of  Police in 2011. Prior to his appointment as Chief, Mike served as the Department’s sergeant and lieutenant.

Chief Hall’s foundations of leadership are built upon stewardship and community service. Enhancing the concepts of community policing into the service model of the Manchester Police Department is a priority for his administration. Chief Hall believes in the importance of advancing professionalism through participation in training opportunities, professional organizations and community partnerships. Under State law, the Town Manager appoints the Chief of Police.

Liz Ambuhl

Director of Parks & Recreation

(802) 362-1439    l.ambuhl@manchester-vt.gov

Liz began her tenure with the Town in 2010. She has over twenty years of experience in parks and recreation. She attained her Masters degree in education and Bachelors degree in sociology, both from the University of Vermont. She was previously the co-director at Camp Catherine Capers, a residential summer equestrian camp for girls, director of the Killington, Vermont Parks and Recreation Department, assistant parks and recreation director for the City of Hallandale, Florida, membership director of the YMCA of Burlington, and the manager of the Collins/Perley Sports Center in St. Albans, Vermont.

Liz resides in Wells, Vermont with her Australian Shepard Ce Ce. In her spare time Liz enjoys riding and showing her quarter horse Jack,  hiking, gardening and spending time with her grown daughter, Kathleen. Liz reports to the Town Manager.

Jeff Williams

Director of Public Works

(802) 362-3283    j.williams@manchester-vt.gov

Jeff serves as the Director of Public Works (DPW). The DPW, the backbone of Town government, was formed in 2008 out of the former Highway Department as part of an overall reorganization of Town departments.

Jeff is the longest-serving and most-experienced Town employee, having started working for the Town in 1977. As Director of Public Works, Jeff supervises road and bridge construction and maintenance, maintenance and capital improvements to Town-owned parks, buildings and grounds and the Factory Point Cemetery. The Highway Foreman, Geoff Sprankle, Buildings, Parks and Grounds Maintenance Supervisor, Steve Casey and Town Mechanic Dave Brooks report to Jeff. Jeff reports to the Town Manager.

SheldonDavid F. Sheldon, Jr.

Water/Sewer Superintendent & Health Officer

(802) 362-1313 (option 2)    d.sheldon@manchester-vt.gov

Dave serves as the Superintendent of the Sewer Department and Water Department. Dave has worked for the Town since 1982. Dave has a class II sewer license and a class II water license. Dave is responsible for supervising the operating, maintaining and improving the Town-owned water distribution system and sewer collection and treatment system. Dave supervises the other two Water and Sewer employees, Eric Severance and Paul Elsholz. Dave lives in Manchester with his wife Wanda. He enjoys hunting and fishing. Dave reports to the Town Manager. He also serves as the Town’s Health Officer.

Questions about billing should be directed to Kathleen Yanez, Finance Assistant, at (802) 362-1313 (option 2) or k.yanez@manchester-vt.gov. Parties interested in connecting to the Town’s water or sewer system should contact John O’Keefe, Town Manager, at (802) 362-1313 (option 2) or j.okeefe@manchester-vt.gov. The Town contracts with Dufresne Group for engineering services. The engineer assigned to Manchester is Christina Haskins, who can be contacted at (802) 768-8291 or chaskins@dufresnegroup.com.