By Curt Peterson
Killington Select Board member Chuck Claffey was about a half-year short of completing his first term on the Board when he sold his house and moved to Mendon, requiring him to resign from his seat.
Chair Steve Finneran and Jim Haff (the remaining two Select Board members) appointed a replacement for Claffey to avoid tie votes on town issues, Tuesday, Aug. 3. Prior to their selection, Town Manager Chet Hagenbarth was authorized to solicit letters of interest from residents who would like the job.
Four respondents — Mike Miller, Chris Karr, Don Martin and Roger Rivera — expressed interest. After a discussion in executive session, Haff and Finneran chose Karr.
“I like the stability the town government has right now, after a period of turmoil,” Karr told the Mountain Times. “My goal is to help keep the ship sailing in its current direction.” Karr is well-known in Killington, and has been a resident for nearly four decades.
“My parents brought me to Killington to ski in the ‘70s when I was a kid,” Karr said. “I moved here in the ‘80s, and I think the town has always been in my blood. I love it.” Karr heads the Karr Group, which owns popular businesses including the Pickle Barrel Night Club, Jax Food and Games, The Foundry at Summit Pond, Mad Hatter’s Scoops, Charity’s 1887 Saloon, and the Waterwheel Trading Post.
He also serves on the Killington Planning Commission, a position that he will not have to give up immediately.
Karr’s appointment ends with Claffey’s term, this March. Karr jokingly said he doesn’t need another job, but as of right now said that he does plans to run for the permanent Select Board position, which would start following Town Meeting.
Karr is not a newcomer to public service in Killington, he also served as president of the Killington Chamber of Commerce in 2007 when Powdr Corp. purchased Killington/Pico Resort, was a member of the Sherburne Volunteer Fire Dept. and still serves on the board which manages the Killington Road wastewater system.