New Town Administrator Already Loving Hopedale

Susan Manning
Issue Date: 
May, 2020
Article Body: 

Diana Schindler stepped out of her geographical comfort zone when she took the job as Hopedale‘s new town administrator last month.
The western Massachusetts native took the reins of her three-year, $105,000 yearly salaried position, on April 13, and said she has never felt more welcome.
“My neighbors here I’ve known only for days [and] are more thoughtful and caring, even in these uncertain times, than neighbors I had for years,” she said.
Schindler, who grew up in Greenfield, where she lived most of her life, raised two children, who are grown now, said the people and the feeling in Hopedale drew her in to apply for the job.
“I could sense the grit of the Board [of Selectmen] and staff in the face of hardship, and could see their dedication. And I knew I could help. Hopedale is reminiscent of an idyllic, quintessential small town of yesteryear. Right in the middle of an urbanized area. It’s a special town with a brilliant history. You can feel its soul, even in the shadow of the former plant, as soon as you enter from any direction,” she said.
Schindler, who previously worked as the interim town administrator in Deerfield, and spent time on the job in Orange, Southampton, and Colrain, said her first three goals include “Get to know the community and its members better; Stabilize finances; Work with all stakeholders on economic development.”
To accomplish these goals, and others, she’s going to rely on communication and transparency with the community.
“As part of planning for future operations amid COVID-19 guidelines and regulations forthcoming from the Governor’s office, the town is working on several outreach strategies, including utilizing social media which will be linked to the town’s website, Zoom technology and printed materials such as local papers. My email is on the town website,, if folks want to reach out to me immediately and directly,” she said.
Where can you find her when she’s not working or getting to know the town and its residents?
“In the woods with my dog, [Diego]. But you might not find me,” joked Schindler. “We are fully enjoying the wonderful parks and walking trails in this area, as we continue to explore.”