.By Laura Krantz www.VTDigger.org
Fresh off one of its most successful legislative campaign seasons in years, the leadership of the state Republican Committee is losing some of its old guard.
Three committee leaders have stepped down since the November election, including Mark Snelling, who announced Saturday that he was leaving his role as party treasurer.
The changes comes after the committee elected a new executive director, Jeff Bartley, this month in a process some say moved too quickly.
Bartley was chosen in a last-minute election announced slightly more than 24 hours before the Dec. 1 meeting. Insiders say the decision was rushed to leave no time for other candidates to come forward or for a search process to take place. Bartley was confirmed by a 6-4 vote of executive committee members.
Snelling, 64, said in an interview Monday that he stepped down because Bartley’s election comes with changes in the treasurer’s duties and he thought it best to let a fresh face learn the new procedures.
As treasurer, Snelling took the party from a $50,000 deficit in 2011 to a $50,000 surplus this year, he said.
Snelling, son of former Gov. Richard Snelling, was one of four people who voted against Bartley’s appointment; the others were Wendy Wilton, Randy Brock and Kevin Beal.
Assistant Treasurer Steve Webster, 71, and Secretary Jackie Barnett, 70, said on Monday they left the committee because they were overextended.
The party has not had an executive director for three years.
The party elected outgoing Barre Town Rep. Tom Koch as assistant treasurer and plans to elect a treasurer at its next meeting. It chose Katheryn Webb Laferriere secretary.
Bartley, 29, who will be paid a $50,000 annual salary, serves at the pleasure of the party chairman.
Bartley said his goals in the job are to build party infrastructure, including voter and donor databases to prepare to make more gains in 2016.