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Explore our coverage of government and politics.

Scott Appoints Former Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling As Commerce Secretary

Governor-elect Phil Scott has appointed former Burlington Police Chief Michael Schirling to serve as secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

The appointment is a key one for an incoming Republican governor who made economic development and affordability the keystones of his gubernatorial campaign. 

“My entire administration will have a laser focus on economic growth and prioritize policies that strengthen the economy and make Vermont affordable for families and businesses,” Scott said in a written statement announcing the appointment. “At the very center of this effort will be work by ACCD and [the Department of Labor], because they will be charged with revitalizing our ability to expand the workforce, help workers and businesses be more competitive, and retain and recruit good jobs.”

Scott’s has selected Lindsay Kurrle, co-owner of Kurrle Fuels and Transport in Montpelier, to serve as commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor. Kurrle and her husband have owned the business since 2004; she previously worked in Vermont government as an assistant director of statewide financial reporting.

“Lindsay will bring her experience as a small business owner, and former auditor and CPA, to the important work done by the team at DOL,” Scott said in a statement.

Schirling served in the Burlington Police Department for 25 years before retiring in 2015. He later took a job as executive director of BTV Ignite, an organization created to strengthen the city’s technology sector.

Scott transition team says Schirling’s professional focus on “science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning opportunities, career coaching and workforce training programs” dovetail with the governor-elect’s economic growth plan.

“Mike has a strong record as an innovator, and his experience as a dynamic community leader and in the tech community demonstrate his ability to lead teams, create change and get measurable results. His leadership skills will be essential to our efforts,” Scott said.

Schirling joins Julie Moore at the Agency of Natural Resources and Susanne Young at the Agency of Administration in secretary-level posts in the incoming Scott administration.

Scott still has to appoint secretaries of the agencies of transportation, agriculture and education.

The Vermont Statehouse is often called the people’s house. I am your eyes and ears there. I keep a close eye on how legislation could affect your life; I also regularly speak to the people who write that legislation.
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