Retired Shelburne Police Chief Jim Warden has been chosen as the recipient of the 2018 Colleen Haag Award for public service in Shelburne.
The Shelburne Selectboard voted 5-0 to select Warden, who completed 30 years of service with the town in January. A date and time to present the award has not been set yet.
The award was created after Shelburne Town Clerk Colleen Haag retired in 2016 after 34 years. It was intended to be given annually to someone who “exemplifies the spirit of public service, who has shared his or her time, talent and energy for the betterment of our community, who inspires purpose, who drives lasting solutions, someone who makes a difference,” according to the description on the town website.
The process to select this year’s recipient got mired in disagreement on the Shelburne Selectboard ahead of March town meeting, when it was to be awarded. The choice was postponed and finally sorted out at the end of March.
In his three decades as police chief, Warden was a popular member of the community. Last summer he had a falling out with Town Manager Joe Colangelo that resulted in Warden being suspended for three days. The suspension was later withdrawn and Warden retired in August.
Many who nominated Warden for the Haag award pointed to his dedication to both his job and individuals in the community along with his pastime teaching dog training classes for years as reasons he should be honored. Shelburne also dedicated its annual town report in March to Warden.