MONTPELIER — On Monday, Gov. Phil Scott promoted two Cabinet members to fill the offices left vacant by Thomas Anderson after he resigned from his position as Commissioner of Public Safety in July, according to a statement released by Scott's office.
Secretary of of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, Michael Schirling, will move up to serve as the commissioner of Public Safety, while Lindsay Kurrle, commissioner with the Department of Labor, will become new secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the statement said.
“Both Lindsay and Mike have been incredibly valuable members of our team, working together to support - and attract more - employers and employees and tackle some of Vermont’s top economic and workforce priorities,” Scott said in the statement. “Their leadership in these new roles will be tremendously important to the state’s work to grow the economy, make Vermont more affordable and protect the most vulnerable.”
Schirling and Kurrle will begin work in their new positions Sept. 3, and a search is being conducted to fill Kurrle's empty seat as labor commissioner.
If someone is not hired by their new start date, Deputy Commissioner Michael Harrington will act as interim commissioner in Kurrle's absence, Scott's office said.
Originally a small-business owner, Kurrle formerly managed her family business, Kurrle Fuels and Transport while she worked at Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice, and brings with her a background in financial reporting, accounting and financial and federal funds audits working with Vermont and New Hampshire state governments.
Kurrle is now in her second year with the Scott administration, having previously served as assistant director of statewide financial reporting, the release claimed.
“It’s been a pleasure working with Secretary Schirling to bring ACCD and VDOL closer together to grow our economy and expand and strengthen our workforce,” Kurrle said in a release. “It is critical for our teams to continue that collaboration so we can continue to revitalize our county economic centers and the communities around them, in order to improve economic outcomes and affordability for Vermonters. I am excited to bring my experience as a small business owner and knowledge of state and federal workforce system to ACCD.”
Kurrle and her husband, Jim, sold their gas station and deli to Champlain Oil Co. in 2017 after 13 years in operation.
“This is a bittersweet time for us, said Jim Kurrle in a statement to the Barre Times Argus during the transition. “We are sad to say goodbye to our staff, some who have been with us since the start of our business, and our loyal customers and our vendors. This business has brought many wonderful people into our lives, some who live and work in central Vermont and others who were passing through. But we feel good about the future of this property.”
The same year Kurrle entered her current capacity at the state house, Schirling began his career as secretary after spending more than two decades with the Burlington Police Department, including seven years as the chief.
While chief, Schirling spearheaded technological advancements, received awards for his work toward better community police and victim service efforts and was previously recognized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police for Civil Rights.
Before his time at the BPD, Schirling trained members of the U.S. State Department's Anti-Terrorism Assistance Program Cyber Division as a contractor, the release said.
“It has been a privilege to serve alongside the talented team at the Agency of Commerce & Community Development, and I am proud of their great work and all they’ve accomplished over the last two and a half years,” Schirling said in the statement. “As the governor often says, public safety is the top priority of any government, so I am humbled by the opportunity to take this new assignment with an equally exceptional team at the Department of Public Safety.”