Wendy Harrison has been appointed interim town administrator of Vernon. The Selectboard voted to make the appointment at a special meeting on October 29, and Harrison began her duties this week. The position is part-time, 20 hours per week.
Concurrently, Harrison is serving as interim executive director of the New England Center for Circus Arts. Previously she served as municipal manager of Bellows Falls and Rockingham from June 2018 until May of this year. Before that, she worked for the Retreat Farm and the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust in development and community relations positions.
Harrison is married to Brattleboro Town Manager Peter Elwell. Harrison and Elwell met in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Bryn Mawr College and a master of governmental administration from the Fels Center of Government, University of Pennsylvania.
Before coming to Vermont, both Harrison and Elwell worked in Florida. Harrison was a town council member in Jupiter, Fla., and earlier was director of solid waste for Martin County in Stuart, Fla. She also worked for the town of Tequesta, Fla., and the city of Philadelphia in the office of finance.
Harrison becomes the fourth person to hold the Vernon town administrator position during 2020. At the beginning of the year, Michelle Pong resigned from the position after serving nearly four years. She was replaced by Thomas Guerino as interim director, who served until Maggie Tuck-Sauer was hired in July. Tuck-Sauer resigned two months later in September, leading to another search for an interim administrator. The town will now commence a new search for a full-time administrator.