Hartland names interim town manager

Staff Report

Published: 04-04-2023 4:56 PM

HARTLAND — A week after placing Town Manager Dave Ormiston on paid administrative leave without going into specifics for its decision, the Hartland Selectboard appointed his interim replacement Monday.

Martin Dole, the town’s finance administrator since 2018, will oversee daily operations in the town of 3,500 residents while the board figures out what to do, if anything, about Ormiston.

At a special board meeting on March 27 in which Ormiston’s paid leave was announced, five residents spoke critically about his management style. A week earlier at a board meeting, Town Clerk Brian Stroffolino took members to task for failing to address what he perceived as a toxic work environment inside Damon Hall, the town office building.

Without naming Ormiston, who was hired in 2017, Stroffolino said that he had “personally experienced and witnessed “abusive, aggressive” and other unprofessional behavior on multiple occasions.

Voters elected Stroffolino in 2021, following the retirement of longtime Town Clerk Clyde Jenne, who won a seat on Selectboard last year. Stroffolino had previously served as an assistant town clerk in Hartland.

Before the board entered into executive session to discuss a “personnel matter” on Monday, it wasn’t clear whether Dole would earn additional pay for his double duty. As finance administrator, Dole’s current annual salary is $69,746.

Ormiston, whose position is budgeted for $91,000 this year, declined to comment when reached at home Tuesday.

Selectboard Chairman Phil Hobbie couldn’t be reached for comment Tuesday.

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