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Sondag to step down as Town Manager

BRATTLEBORO—Barbara Sondag, town manager since 2007, is stepping down to take a position as city administrator in Olivette, Mo., a city of about 8,000 near the Illinois state line.

Selectboard Chair David Gartenstein made the announcement at Tuesday’s night meeting that Sondag is leaving her post effective July 23.

Sondag, who will start her new job at the end of July, is making the move to be closer to her family, said Gartenstein.

Gartenstein said that the process of hiring a new Town Manager would be “exciting.” The process will allow the town to look at its priorities.

He said he has contacted the Vermont League of Cities and Towns, which helps its member towns recruit municipal managers. He anticipates meeting with the organization soon to discuss the process.

Gartenstein complimented the leadership that Sondag showed in guiding the town through difficult events, such as the double-whammy of the Brooks House fire and Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

Sondag said that working for Brattleboro has “been a great experience” and that she felt fortunate for her time in Brattleboro, adding that the timing of her departure feels appropriate for her and her partner. Sondag said she looks forward to the challenges of learning a new city.

“I feel really fortunate to have worked with the people and town of Brattleboro,” said Sondag.

She said she was happy to be leaving the town in a good financial situation and with Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland, who has good experience under his belt.

The department heads, too, are excellent, she added.

Sondag added that she wanted to thank all past and present Selectboard members for “making life always interesting.”

Sondag has served the town for almost 10 years. She started in 2003 as the assistant town manager, then moved into the position of town manager in 2007.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #208 (Wednesday, June 19, 2013).

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