BRATTLEBORO — Before resigning and securing a severance package, outgoing Town Manager Yoshi Manale received a different package — one that contained feces.
Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland, who will serve as interim town manager starting next Friday, said he had seen the package about a week or two ago. That would place the incident in between the controversial decision to no longer contract with Rescue Inc and Manale’s resignation announcement Friday.
“I can confirm it happened, but beyond that all I can say is it was a disgusting prank and that I don’t believe whomever sent it represents the people of Brattleboro, as I have found most of them to be kind and welcoming,” Manale said in an email to the Reformer.
Select Board Chairman Ian Goodnow said he was notified about the feces incident in confidence and was “abhorred” by it. He said he asked if Manale wanted to bring a complaint to the police department for a formal investigation, but he said Manale did not want to make a big deal out of the incident.
Police Chief Norma Hardy said the incident was not reported to the Brattleboro Police Department.
Moreland believes the package was sent through a website where people can anonymously send feces from different animals.
Manale will receive $60,000 in a lump sum in the severance package, which means he will get nearly all of his $120,000 annual salary before leaving less than six months into the job. Also as part of the agreement, he will get 12 weeks of health coverage benefits continued, $3,565 in accrued time off, as much as $6,000 in moving expenses and a letter of recommendation.
“Recognizing that the employment relationship was not working to each party’s expectations, Manale has tendered his letter of resignation and Brattleboro has accepted the letter of resignation,” states an agreement signed by Manale and Goodnow.
Part of the severance agreement requires Manale to “not knowingly make any statements to any third parties which might reasonably be construed to disparage Brattleboro or harm its reputation.” Town staff and the Select Board have not been critical of Manale.
In the statement announcing his resignation, Manale said he wasn’t “the right fit” for the job.
“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,” he said. “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.”