Town manager

Brattleboro is searching for its next town manager, whose office is next to this one in the Municipal Center. 

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BRATTLEBORO — The first round of interviews for town manager candidates will start later this month.

Interim Town Manager Patrick Moreland said the town has received 26 applications for the position.

“I think the board is very aware of how important a responsibility this is, and we are taking it very seriously, and we are prepared to do the due diligence and take the time needed to make sure we find a new town manager,” Select Board Chairman Ian Goodnow said in an interview Tuesday.

Less than six months into the job, Yoshi Manale resigned in May and left in June. He was hired to replace Town Manager Peter Elwell, who retired at the end of 2021.

In a statement at the time of his resignation, Manale explained how the town manager position is intended to be the administrative head of all the town departments, offering helpful, detailed information to the members of the Select Board and executing their will for the best of the residents.

“In a small town like Brattleboro, I have quickly discovered that the prominence of this position creates drawbacks for me to fulfill the duties of the job most efficiently. I am not the right fit for this position,” Manale said in part. “I am leaving with a sad heart. After consulting with the Select Board, I am sure that I have made the right decision to move on.”

His early departure brought up questions from the community about how the town goes about hiring the town manager and supporting the person when initially taking on the position. Some residents were disappointed to hear of his resignation, which was shrouded in some secrecy, since he and the Select Board signed an agreement that prevented them from making disparaging statements about one another.

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Goodnow expects initial interviews with the Select Board to be conducted similarly to the last time around. As for the next phase of interviewing, he said the board is still discussing whether changes will be made to the process.

No timeline for making the hire has been developed. Goodnow said the board wants to find the right person and isn’t rushing the process.

“We’re really grateful to Mr. Moreland for stepping into the interim town manager role,” he said. “That gives us, the Select Board, the breathing room we need to do this process effectively, to take the time we need to interview and vet the candidates we think could do the job. Patrick is providing that space for us.”

Moreland isn’t interested in being town manager. He previously told the Reformer he appreciates community members encouraging him to apply, but he’s familiar with the role and knows that his talents and interests are better suited to his current position as assistant town manager. He was hired by the town in 2011.

For the search, the Select Board is working with Ellis Hankins of Mercer Group Associates. Hankins also was hired for the previous search.

Goodnow said the position is being advertised in state and nationally through various places.

Moreland provided a list, which includes the Mercer Group Associates website, the town’s website and social media pages, the Vermont League of Cities & Towns website, the Massachusetts Municipal Association website, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities website, the New Hampshire Municipal Association, the New York Conference of Mayors website, the Maine Municipal Association website, the International City Managers Association,, and the National Forum for Black Public Administrators.