On March 28, 2023

Hartland town manager receives public rebuke

By Curt Peterson

Hartland Town Clerk Brian Stroffolino surprised the Select Board on March 20 reading a statement accusing a town employee of “abusive, aggressive, disrespectful, threatening, violent and vulgar behavior on many occasions,” which “created a toxic workplace environment.” He didn’t name the offender, but the accused is believed to be Town Manager David Ormiston.

Stroffolino said “many” complaints to the Select Board have not resulted in improvement.

“How is the Select Board going to proceed?” the clerk,  an elected official, asked board chair Phil Hobbie.

Hobbie would not respond directly, explaining privacy regulations require employee issues discussions to be held in executive session, after which only decisions made are announced.

Hobbie thanked Stroffolino for his input, reminding him employment issues can’t be aired in a public meeting.

“I feel a lot of compassion for Brian,” Hobbie told the Mountain Times. 

He contacted Stroffolino Tuesday morning, reviewing why he couldn’t address his statement publicly. The clerk said he appreciated the Select Board had heard his concerns.

A Hartland listserv post by resident Jay Boeri ignited discussion some called “an uproar.”  

Of the 44 posts, seven claim first-hand unpleasant dealings with Ormiston. Seventeen rely on rumors, or cite “common knowledge.” Seven concern the Select Board’s and the manager’s performance.

Asked to confirm previous discussions with the Select Board regarding friction with town employees, Ormiston said “disagreements are always part of serving in municipal government.” 

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