Hartland resignation creates another town manager opening in Upper Valley

By LIZ SAUCHELLI

Valley News Staff Writer

Published: 05-16-2023 4:37 PM

HARTLAND — The town of Hartland is searching for a new town manager following the resignation of Dave Ormiston, who had been on paid leave after complaints about his demeanor.

The Selectboard accepted Ormiston’s resignation, which is retroactive to April 30, at a meeting on May 8.

“We wished him well and thanked him for his time,” Selectboard Chairman Phil Hobbie said in a Tuesday phone interview.

Ormiston — who was hired in 2017 after longtime Town Manager Bob Stacey retired — was placed on paid administrative leave in late March after Town Clerk Brian Stroffolino accused Ormiston of creating a hostile work environment at the town offices. A week later, the Selectboard appointed Town Finance Administrator Martin Dole as acting town manager. Dole continues to serve both in roles, Hobbie said.

Selectboard members are currently revising the town manager job description, which they hope to finalize by July. They are also discussing whether to hire a firm to help with the search and where to advertise the position. Hobbie added that there is no set timeline for establishing a search committee.

“We wanted to have essentially a regrouping, a cooling off period, which we are,” he said. “We really are in that very early stage of reviewing the job description, updating it.”

Hartland now joins Norwich, Hartford and Thetford, which are also looking for permanent town managers.

“We’re very fully aware that communities around us are either starting the process or in the process of looking for a town manager, so we know it’s going to be a bit hard,” Hobbie said.

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Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.

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