Featured, Local News

Hartland board appoints acting town manager

By Curt Peterson

Hartland Finance Administrator Martin Dole was appointed as acting town manager Monday, April 3, after Town Manager David Ormiston was placed on paid leave last week.

Dole, who has been finance administrator for five years, will temporarily hold both positions while the necessary adjustments are made following Ormiston’s   suspension. Michelle Rielly, Dole’s assistant in the finance office and the wife of Select Board member Jim Rielly, has agreed to invest additional hours needed to help him cover both posts.

Martin Dole was born in Vermont, and has lived in the state most of his life. He and his wife Anita moved to Hartland in 1990, and have two sons – Spencer, 28, and Brandon, 24, who both attended Hartland Elementary School.

“I am humbled by this appointment,” Dole told the Mountain Times. “I enjoy both jobs, so I look forward to whatever the future brings.”

Before joining the Hartland staff, Dole was controller at Gateway Motors in White River.

Dole’s appointment eases a lot of general anxiety that began when Town Clerk Brian Stroffolino read a statement to the Select Board condemning an individual town employee for unacceptable behavior towards fellow employees, referring to the now-suspended Town Manager David Ormiston.

Stroffolino’s accusations inspired a rash of posts from residents, some of whom had themselves experienced what they considered disrespectful treatment by Ormiston.

Phil Hobbie, the Select Board chair who has carried the ball through much of the transition, told the Mountain Times, “I’m feeling tired and worn out, but am relieved that we finally seem to be on the ‘other side’ of this issue.”

He is still busy doing things behind the scenes that he can’t talk about publicly, and the board and entire town staff are responding to small things as they come up, such as calls people had expected to be returned by the previous manager, but were not noted anywhere.

“We are just apologizing and promising to take care of whatever matter is involved, as soon as possible,” Hobbie said. 

Hobbie said he doesn’t know the approximate increase in hours to be required of  Rielly.

“We just have to leave much of the details involved in adjusting to his new situation to Martin,”  he said. “We’re all still getting used to things, and I am so grateful that the town staff is stepping up to do whatever is needed to help with the transition.”

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