Claremont hires former Brattleboro, Vt., town manager

  • Brattleboro Town Manager Octavian “Yoshi” Manale in a Dec. 31, 2021, photograph. (VtDigger - Kevin O’Connor) VtDigger — Kevin O’Connor

Valley News Correspondent
Published: 9/8/2022 12:38:27 PM
Modified: 9/8/2022 6:37:26 PM

CLAREMONT — The City Council voted unanimously Wednesday evening to hire the former town manager of Brattleboro, Vt., as Claremont’s next city manager.

Octavian “Yoshi” Manale’s offer of employment is contingent upon a successful background check. Mayor Dale Girard said Manale, who spoke to the council via Zoom on Wednesday while on vacation out of the country, is expected to start the first week of October and will be assisted briefly by current interim City Manager John Bohenko.

Manale’s salary will be $130,000 annually.

Girard said Manale was not one of the four candidates the council interviewed earlier this year, none of whom were offered the position. The council became aware of Manale’s employment situation and reached out to him for an interview, Girard said.

“The council was very impressed,” the mayor said at the meeting before introducing Manale. “He is a very energetic individual that we are looking forward to trying to continue to move the community in a positive direction.”

Manale briefly thanked the council for the offer and said he was looking forward to coming to Claremont and working with and staff to “continue to make Claremont a city that you are all proud of.”

Manale was hired in Brattleboro, a town of about 12,000, in January and resigned in late May. According to a story in VTDigger, Manale was sharply criticized publicly for ending a relationship with the town’s EMS provider without public debate, and that criticism led to his decision to leave.

“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,” Manale’s letter of resignation stated, according to VTDigger. “I am not the right fit for this position.”

Before Brattleboro, Manale was deputy mayor of Trenton, N.J., a city of more than 80,000.

This will be Claremont’s third city manager in nearly six years. After Guy Santagate retired at the end of 2016 after 15 years as city manager, Ryan McNutt of Massachusetts was hired in February 2017 and fired two years later. The council then hired former Weathersfield Town Manager Ed Morris in the summer of 2019. Morris resigned in early 2022 to become the new town manager of Enfield.

John MacLean stepped in to serve as interim city manager twice. Bohenko is now serving in that role, leading the management of the city, which has about 13,000 residents.

Patrick O’Grady can be reached at

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