BRATTLEBORO - Town Manager Barbara Sondag has handed in her resignation to the Brattleboro Selectboard and will be leaving at the end of July.
Selectboard Chairman David Gartenstein made the surprise announcement at the beginning of Tuesday night's board meeting, saying that the board had only received the information Monday.
Sondag has taken a job as city administrator in Olivette, Mo., which is near Sondag's family home in Illinois, Gartenstein said.
Her final day as town manager will be July 23.
"I feel fortunate to have been able to be here," Sondag told the board and the audience at Tuesday's meeting. "It seems like an appropriate time to be leaving. The town is financially in good order. I look forward to the challenge ahead."
Sondag recognized the current and former board members, the citizens and the department heads and staff members.
She thanked the board for "Making life always interesting."
She also said Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland has been with the town for two-and-a-half years and said he would be an asset to the town during the transition.
Gartenstein said he has already been in contact with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, and he said the board will be starting the search as soon as possible.
"Looking for a new town manager is an exciting process to go through," Gartenstein said. "It is an opportunity to look at our priorities. We will be planning our process on how we will be making this decision.
Gartenstein said Sondag has helped the town through very challenging times, including the Brooks House fire and Tropical Storm Irene.
"Barbara's leadership has been steady and exemplary," he said. "It has been a pleasure to work with her."
Sondag has worked for the town of Brattleboro for 10 years, and has been the full time town manager since 2007.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or
802-254-2311 ext. 279. Follow him on Twitter @HowardReformer.