Local News

Hartland settles with former town manager

By Curt Peterson

Following weeks of sometimes difficult meetings and negotiations, and after a brief executive session, on May 8 four Hartland selectboard members unanimously approved a separation agreement involving former town manager David Ormiston.

“(It) is in their respective best interests,” the agreement begins, “to cease their employment relationship.”

Ormiston was put on “paid leave” following a series of complaints about his relationships with other town officials, town employees, and members of the public during his almost six years of employment. Although the situation became belittling fodder for at least one columnist, it was a serious and significant problem for Hartland, and had been handled proactively since May of 2022.

The catalyst was a presentation of complaints presented by elected Town Clerk Brian Stroffolino at the March 20 selectboard meeting, who read a statement accusing a town employee of “abusive, aggressive, disrespectful, threatening, violent and vulgar behavior on many occasions”, which “created a toxic workplace environment.”

The separation agreement spells out several terms.  Ormiston agreed to submit his resignation effective April 30. He will receive, in addition to his salary and benefits during his suspension, continued compensation and benefits through September.

He and the town agree not to sue each other regarding the separation or any events that took place prior to his resignation.

He agrees to “cooperate with and assist (the town)” through the severance period “as reasonably requested.”

He and the town agree not to defame each other publicly. 

The recommendation letter, dated May 8, contains Ormiston’s dates of employment and a brief list of his accomplishments that benefited the town. The latter includes managing and getting additional funding for the Three Corners intersection project, road maintenance improvements and financial planning for maintenance and repairs of town buildings.

Acting Town Manager Martin Dole will temporarily continue to serve in that position, as well as his role as finance director.

Mountain Times Newsletter

Sign up below to receive the weekly newsletter, which also includes top trending stories and what all the locals are talking about!