Schindler resigns; Stock calls it “a colossal mistake” Majority of Select Board members acknowledge hostile work environment
Former Town Administrator Diana Schindler at Special Town Meeting on Nov. 14. Source: www.townhallstreams.com
By Theresa Knapp
At its meeting on Oct. 24, the Select Board accepted the resignation of Town Administrator Diana Schindler, effective Nov. 18, 2022.
Select Board Chair Glenda Hazard read the letter of resignation in which Schindler said:
“While I’ve appreciated the opportunity to work in Hopedale since 2020, given that the Board didn’t fulfill its obligations regarding my contract by not setting goals and objectives for me to implement, it has made it impossible for my performance review and contract renewal to be administered fairly and effectively. Therefore, please accept my resignation from the position of Town Administrator effective 11/18/2022.”
Hazard apologized to Schindler for not expediting her evaluation, and also expressed frustration with the situation.
“I can’t help but want to thank [Select Board member] Brian Keyes and the band of persistent past and present town officials who have successfully created a hostile work environment for the Town Administrator; and I also wanted to thank them for impeding our efforts to get a future Town Administrator because I’m sure that any candidate that Googles Hopedale is just going to run in the other direction,” Hazard said.
When asked to respond, Keyes said, “I’m not even going to respond to that nonsense, to be honest with you,” then took issue with the Nov. 18 departure date, saying Schindler’s original contract said she would stay in the position for 60 days after her resignation was submitted.
The board agreed to honor the Nov. 18 date.
Select Board member Bernie Stock, who previously served as Hopedale’s Town Administrator, said he was upset by the resignation and had tried to convince Schindler to stay.
Stock said, “This is a huge mistake by this town to let this talent get away. It is shortsighted, it is the political version of throwing the baby out in the bath water. And I do agree with you Madam Chair that there is a cult almost who has made it their task to - almost like a python kills something - it just kept squeezing and squeezing and squeezing almost on a daily basis creating an unbelievably horrible work culture in the Town Hall to force her out.”
Stock added, “This is a colossal mistake, letting this individual go, and let me just tell all of you out there that have danced over this resignation: Be careful what you wish for because the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.”
At the October meeting, the board said the job description would be posted shortly. As of press time, it was not listed on the town website.
As of press time, the recording of the meeting was no longer available at www.townhallstreams.com