Bedford’s town manager resigns to take post in Sullivan County
Jessie Levine, Bedford’s town manager since September 2012, is moving on to a new post as the next Sullivan County manager.
Her last day of employment in Bedford will be Monday, Jan. 13, two days before she begins her new job in the Western Central region of New Hampshire.
The news of her resignation, after a total of 13 years in municipal service in Bedford and elsewhere, was announced in a press release posted on Nov. 14 by Chris Bandazian, Town Council chairman, who cited personal reasons as Levine’s motivation to move back to her former home in Springfield, N.H.
Bandazian said the Town Council accepted the resignation on Nov. 13. It was received with regret, he said, but added council members understand Levine’s desire to return to the Upper Valley and its enduring connections.
He said Levine had written in her letter of resignation that her heart had never truly left the Upper Valley, a longtime region of residency.
He stated that she said in the letter that she could not pass up the opportunity to return to a part of the state where she has a strong base of friends and loved ones.
“In her short tenure in Bedford, Jessie has compiled a long list of significant accomplishments and has advanced an impressive number of long-term projects that are works in progress,” Bandazian wrote in the announcement. “Although Jessie will be relocating, she brings with her many enduring friendships in our community. The council extends its best wishes for continued success to Jessie in her new endeavors.”
Levine, 43, said friends she has kept in touch in her former town of Springfield alerted her about the vacancy in Sullivan County.
Levine warmed up to the idea of moving back home to Sullivan County and once again live in Springfield. The town has about 1,000 residents. She lived there for 12 years and refrained from selling her Springfield home. It is currently occupied by a tenant. Levine will return to “my own home,” she said.
“Home is where the heart is and while Bedford has been a great experience and I’ve loved being here, the timing of this opening is right for me. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” she said.
The Sullivan County website notes the county manager’s duties. The manager oversees and coordinates the business, fiscal, purchasing and human resources activities of the county.
The county’s 528 square miles are named in honor of Brigadier Gen. John Sullivan, a hero of the Revolutionary War. The county encompasses 14 towns – Acworth, Charlestown, Cornish, Croydon, Goshen, Grantham, Langdon, Lempster, Newport, Plainfield, Springfield, Sunapee, Unity and Washington. It also boasts one city, Claremont. Some 43,000 people live in the county.
Jeff Barrette, the chairman of the Sullivan County Board of Commissioners, said in a news release posted Nov. 18 that Levine will fill a post vacated in August by Greg Chanis.
He noted Levine’s wealth of experience, garnered locally from 2000-11 as town administrator in New London followed by employment as assistant town manager/HR director for the town of Hanover.
He mentioned Levine lived in Springfield at the time she served in both positions, she is welcomed back to Sullivan County.
“It is with great pleasure we welcome Ms. Levine back to Sullivan County,” Barrette said.
“We are very fortunate to have found such expertise combined with strong ties to our area. She will be a true asset to our organization.”
Levine said the people she has worked with have been wonderful to know. There are projects underway, she acknowledges, that will need tending.
“It will be rather challenging for those who have to pick up the ball,” Levine said. “But the timing is what it is. I wish I could have made everything happen a year from now. It’s definitely a bittersweet decision but I am thinking of home. I will miss everybody.”
Inquiries and comments about Levine’s new post or other matters may be forwarded through the town of Bedford website at www.bedfordnh.org.