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Vergennes council to discuss city manager again on Wednesday

VERGENNES — Meetings scheduled for this week on Monday and Wednesday could resolve the employment status of Vergennes City Manager Daniel Hofman, something that has been up in the air since an Oct. 13 executive session of the Vergennes City Council.
The council also on this past Friday held a special meeting focused on Hofman, again behind closed doors. Mayor Lynn Donnelly told the Independent no decision was made at the meeting, but that she and Councilor Jill Murray-Killon would meet with Hofman on Monday, Oct. 19.
Donnelly said another council special meeting would follow at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.
At that meeting, Donnelly said, she expected Hofman’s “employment issues to be resolved.
The Independent plans to report on that meeting in a timely manner at addisonindependent.com.
After the Oct. 13 closed-door session the council agreed to have Donnelly and Murray-Killon meet with Hofman, and Donnelly confirmed they did so before Friday’s two-hour special council meeting.
Donnelly said the Oct. 13 meeting related to an undisclosed “personal issue” that Hofman reported to the council, one that led him to consider leaving the position he has held since the first of the year. The Albany, N.Y.-area native was 29 when he began working for Vergennes after leaving a similar post in Guyton, Ga.
Donnelly told the Independent last week that the Oct. 13 executive session was not related to Hofman’s job performance.
“There was a discussion about whether he will continue as city manager,” Donnelly told the Independent on Oct. 14. “And we will be discussing that with him in the next few days.”
Still, some residents and members of city committees have been critical of Hofman in recent months
Planning Commission Chairman Shannon Haggett and Recreation Committee Chairman Tim Cook in July both sent letters to the council critical of Hofman’s leadership.
Cook’s letter also cited a “whistleblower letter” sent to the council by a city pool employee complaining about Hofman. Some residents have also questioned in public meetings his role in the controversial July 16 council meeting that led to four council members’ resignations.
Hofman has gotten generally high marks for his budgeting acumen, helping to organize a regional COVID-19 response early during the pandemic, and coming up with a long-range plan to finance a city sewer system rebuild.
But Donnelly last said Hofman’s job work record will not be an issue on the table.
“Obviously he’s been in a very tough position,” she said. “And for personal reasons he wants to move on. And it’s a decision whether the council is ready for that or not.”    

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