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Hartford Manager Who Quit Abruptly Working for Developer

Saturday, October 24, 2015
West Lebanon — Hartford’s former town manager Hunter Rieseberg is working for Lyme Properties 2, the company behind the mixed-used development River Park in West Lebanon.

Real estate developer David Clem said the 38-acre research park, which broke ground in September, will benefit from Rieseberg’s talents.

Rieseberg, who served as town manager for nearly 20 years before abruptly resigning in August, said on Friday he had no idea the River Park job was in his future when he resigned .

“It came out of nowhere,” he said.

He said mutual acquaintances suggested to Clem that Rieseberg, who lives in Hanover, might be the right person for the job, and that Clem then sent a message to Rieseberg asking that he give him a call.

On Friday afternoon, Rieseberg, 59, spoke on the phone while preparing to take his two children to swimming practice.

Rieseberg said the midafternoon errand was evidence that the new position would allow him a better balance between life and work.

“Mr. and Mrs. Clem expressed their family friendly and supportive philosophy and they understand the complexities of looking after kids these days, and have expressed a willingness to be supportive of these efforts,” he said.

Clem himself has municipal experience, having served as a city councilor decades ago in Cambridge, Mass., where he later developed buildings in Kendall Square near Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He expressed confidence in Rieseberg.

“He is uniquely qualified and has been successful promoting public-private partnerships and capital projects here in the Upper Valley,” Clem’s Lyme Properties said in a statement released Friday afternoon. “As our chief operating officer, he will not only be focused on the continued management of our daily operations, but will assist us in the build-out of River Park — our mixed-use research park in West Lebanon.”

Rieseberg said he was excited about the nature of River Park, which is expected to open its first building on the Route 10 site in early 2017.

“I enjoy real estate and real estate development and am really excited about the project,” Rieseberg said. “It’s an enormous project with extraordinary benefits for the residents of Lebanon.”

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan came for the groundbreaking ceremony of the first building, which will include a restaurant, offices and retail space. The structure will include a bridge-shaped entrance that engineers designed to symbolize the project’s connection to the Connecticut River, on which it has a half-mile of frontage, and the future.

Rieseberg said that so far, he has been learning the job.

“I’ve only just completed my fifth day,” he said. “There’s quite a bit of a learning curve, becoming familiar with the staff and office and current properties, and coming up to speed on what the project is. It’s a very full plate, but it’s all very exciting stuff.”

The town of Hartford is currently undergoing a national search for Rieseberg’s successor; during the interim, former Fire Chief Steve Locke has served as acting town manager.

Matt Hongoltz-Hetling can be reached at or 603-727-3211.

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