The board of trustees took full advantage of its annual reorganizational meeting last week, electing a new village president and appointing a new member to fill a vacant seat.
Andrew Brown was elected village president, taking over the reins from George Tyler, who nominated him to the post after serving in the role for eight years. In turn, Tyler was elected to serve as Brown’s second-in-command.
“I am humbled beyond words,” Brown said of his new title.
Tyler, who was first elected to the trustees in 2008 and was appointed its president every year since 2011, said he nominated Brown because he felt it his duty as president to encourage young leaders.
“It was time for Andrew to step up,” Tyler said in an email. “I’m sure he’ll do a great job.”
The trustees then turned their attention to the vacant seat previously occupied by Elaine Haney. Two weeks prior, residents elected Raj Chawla to fill the seat left by Rep. Lori Houghton, who decided to not seek re-election. Last week’s meeting was Chawla’s first with the board.
Haney’s decision to resign from the board following her election as the selectboard’s chairwoman left the trustees with an empty seat with almost a year until the next regular election. So, per the village charter, the trustees needed to appoint someone to fill the vacant seat until April 2020 election.
To do so, the board had two options: conduct a search, through which residents could apply to join the board and undergo an interview process, or appoint Amber Thibeault, who ran against Chawla earlier this month.
The trustees decided on the quicker approach, noting they already have a qualified candidate who put in the work to speak to voters prior to the recent election; they briefly interviewed Thibeault before unanimously choosing her for the seat.
Thibeault, a lawyer who serves on the village capital committee and planning commission, will need to step down from the latter board, since trustees can’t also serve on the PC. She described an interest in helping the board continue to navigate through governance and consolidation over the next year and said she has no problem making tough decisions, even if everyone in the room might not agree.
“I’m just looking to get more involved than what I currently am,” Thibeault told the board prior to its vote. “I’d love to sit at the table here with you folks and talk the larger politics of the village.”