Scott Names Former Burlington Police Chief Commerce Secretary | Off Message

Scott Names Former Burlington Police Chief Commerce Secretary

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Mike Schirling - MATTHEW THORSEN/FILE
  • Matthew Thorsen/File
  • Mike Schirling
Governor-elect Phil Scott named former Burlington police chief Mike Schirling his commerce secretary and tapped central Vermont small business owner Lindsay Kurrle to lead the Department of Labor.

Scott made the announcements Friday afternoon as he slowly fills cabinet positions ahead of his January 5 inauguration.

Schirling, who retired from the police force in 2015, has been executive director of the economic development and technology nonprofit organization BTV Ignite for a little more than a year.

Scott cited Schirling’s innovation and leadership experience in hiring him to run an agency that will be under particular pressure to produce results. Scott campaigned on a promise of generating economic growth.

Schirling will replace Lucy Leriche, who has been commerce secretary only since September, when Pat Moulton left to head Vermont Technical College.

Kurrle has been serving as a volunteer adviser to Scott’s transition team. The Middlesex resident is co-owner of Kurrle Fuels & Kurrle Transport, and manages daily operations for the Montpelier-based fuel hauling and convenience store business. She has a background in marketing and accounting.
Lindsay Kurrle - COURTESY OF VERMONT LOTTERY
  • Courtesy of Vermont Lottery
  • Lindsay Kurrle

Kurrle will replace Annie Noonan, who served as labor commissioner for outgoing Gov. Peter Shumlin during his entire six years in office.

As labor commissioner, Kurrle will be Scott’s point person in the ongoing debate over the classification of independent contractors. Legislators and the Shumlin administration reached a stalemate over the issue this year. Labor-rights activists and business owners have conflicting opinions over what type of work makes a person an employee versus an independent contractor for purposes of workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance.

The department also oversees workforce training programs, a point Scott highlighted in his announcement.


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