Martha Toscher, former Executive Assistant to Town of Pelham CAO Darren Ottaway, and Mayor Dave Augustyn, has quit.

Toscher’s sudden decision to resign on Friday, February 17, after some five years on the job, took colleagues and senior management by surprise. Shortly afterward, a memo emailed to Town staff by CAO Darren Ottaway was brought to the Voice’s attention. Sources with direct knowledge of the memo say that Ottaway informed staff of Toscher’s leaving, did not offer an explanation, and gave firm instructions that staff not discuss the issue with anyone. The Voice has not independently verified the memo’s authenticity or precise phrasing.

Multiple requests for comment made of CAO Ottaway, Mayor Augustyn, and Public Relations and Marketing Specialist Marc MacDonald, copied to Town Council, have gone unacknowledged over the last 10 days. Toscher has also not responded to multiple requests for comment. Her name no longer appears in the Town’s online staff directory.

Sources who do not wish to be publicly identified describe an often “toxic” work environment inside Pelham Town Hall, with some staff feeling “harassed and bullied.”

As rumour of Toscher’s departure circulated through town, a number of readers contacted the Voice to report that their inquiries of Pelham Town Council were unanswered. One reader reported that his councillor simply replied that he had no idea why Toscher left.

Former staff, and residents who serve on various Town committees, have universally praised Toscher as a hard worker and dedicated to her job.