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November 19. 2013 9:27PM

Board says Rindge administrator 'forced' to resign

RINDGE — Nearly a month after long-time town administrator Carlotta Pini left her position suddenly with no explanation from her or town officials, the Board of Selectmen and Pini released a joint statement Monday saying she had resigned the day she left, Oct. 18.

In the resignation agreement between Pini and board members, released by the town Tuesday through a right-to-know request, the resignation was described as "forced."

The agreement states that if the town is questioned by its unemployment insurance provider or state Employment Security, the town would respond by saying, "The employee faced discharge if she didn't resign. We consider it a forced resignation, and we will not dispute her eligibly for unemployment insurance benefits."

The agreement says the town is paying Pini a lump sum payment of $35,000 and will continue her medical, dental, short- and long-term disability and life insurance until April 18.

The agreement is dated Oct. 18, Pini's last day of employment, and binds the town officials and Pini to "keep confidential the terms and conditions of this agreement."

Board member Roberta Oeser said Tuesday that she and the board members Sam Seppala and Dan Aho have been fulfilling Pini's duties since she left. "It's been interesting," Oeser said of the challenges of filling in for Pini.

Replacement to be named

She added the board plans to make an announcement pertaining to the hiring of a new town administrator Wednesday night.

Pini had worked for the town for a total of 12 years, and as town administrator for the past seven. She was earning $71,000 a year at the time of her departure.

In the joint statement, Seppala said, "Carlotta's vision and leadership has been valuable in making Rindge one of the most desirable communities in the Monadnock Region. … Carlotta has made significant contributions to Rindge's success and has attracted and inspired many of Rindge's talented and committed employees and enthusiastic volunteers. We wish her the best of luck in all of her future endeavors."

Pini said in the statement that she urges board members to begin its search for the next town administrator immediately.

"There are many important projects that require leadership and close oversight to be successful," Pini said in the statement, citing the historic Meetinghouse window restoration, the FastRoads fiber installation and implementation of the Rindge Economic Development Initiative's Action Plan, to name a few.

Board members credited Pini for overseeing a period of substantial growth for the town in which she launched the town's Facebook page and Twitter account, continued the work of her predecessor, Edgar Gadbois, to develop Payson Village Senior Housing, acted as a steward of the town's historic Meetinghouse, worked to expand broadband access in town and played an integral role in re-establishing a strong working relationship between town officials and Franklin Pierce University leadership.

The statement said Pini, who lives in Fitzwilliam, plans to work with her husband in his barbecue catering business while she plans her next career move.

mpierce@newstote.com


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