Pattye Benson

Community Matters

“A Job is Not a Life” … Mimi Gleason Resigns as Tredyffrin’s Township Manager

For those of us who attended last night’s Board of Supervisors meeting, it went very late, until 11:30 PM. Now I have to wonder if the 4-hour marathon meeting had any bearing on this morning’s decision by our township manager.

Mimi Gleason has been Tredyffrin’s Township Manager for the last 7 years. Prior to becoming township manager in 2005, Mimi served under Joe Janasik as assistant Township Manager for 3 years. There was no indication at last night’s meeting of Mimi’s impending announcement this morning; and the news has taken many of us by surprise.

Rather than speculating on the reason behind Mimi’s decision to resign, I spoke at length with her this afternoon. She assured me that the decision to leave was completely her own rather than anyone pushing her in that direction. Mimi told the township supervisors and her staff this morning of her decision to resign; her last day will be September 17.

I asked Mimi why she was resigning – was it another job? No, she is not leaving Tredyffrin for another job. In fact, her explanation for the resignation was actually quite simple … “A job is not a life”. She went on to explain that she is uncertain about what she wants to do, but knows that she wants to do something different and to work less. Her plans after September 17 include taking a few months off from work, visiting friends around the country during the fall and her annual trip to Hawaii in January. Although Mimi does not view the decision to resign as some type of mid-life crisis, our conversation did turn philosophical as we discussed the importance of really ‘living’ life.

What has she enjoyed most about serving as our township manager? An easy question, she responded “… the people … the staff … the volunteers … the groups she works with”. I then asked what she liked least about the job and that proved another easy question. Her quick response, “night meetings!” Based on last night’s supervisors meeting that ran until 11:30 PM, I could not help but think that may have made her decision this morning a little bit easier.

Wondering if Mimi could be cajoled into extending that September 17 deadline, I asked her that question. No, her mind is made up. Remembering her words, “a job is not a life”, Ms. Gleason has some living she wants to do!

I know that you join me in wishing Mimi well; wherever this life’s journey takes her. We thank her for her ten years of service to the residents of this community and can take some solace in knowing that this was ultimately her decision, and no one else’s.

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  1. This is a shock! I agree with Mimi’s comment “a job is not a life” and can certainly understand her reasons for leaving. Tredyffrin has been fortunate to have her expertise and guidance during her tenure. I will be sad to see her leave, and I consider myself lucky to have worked with her on the PC.

    I wish her the best of luck in the future in whatever endeaver she choses.

  2. I am truly saddened to learn of Mimi’s resignation. Given her decade of complete dedication to this township and vision of what Tredyffrin could become, no replacement will likely fill her shoes.

    I can well understand Mimi’s decision to leave a job that has become too much about stretching limited resources as staff and budgets are cut. There is nothing on the horizon that is not funded by federal dollars, grants or private development.

    It is a shame our very knowledgeable, committed township manager has decided to leave. But I guess I’m not surprised.

    I wish her well.

  3. Mimi

    I am sure that a lot of deep thought and courage went into your decision. I wish you the best of luck in the future whatever you decide to do next. Thank you for your service to the township.

  4. First, congratulations to you, Pattye, for breaking this story.

    Such a shame, though, that the news is so upsetting. I have always been completely impressed with Mimi’s grasp and presentation of the issues. I have to think that it will take a while for a replacement to be equally effective.

    “A job is not a life” strikes a chord with me. Good for Mimi that she has the wisdom and courage to step off the hamster wheel.

  5. Mimi is the consummate professional and a “stand up” person. She did her job well and with grace in an increasingly difficult fiscal and development climate. This a huge loss for the township and the Tredyffrin community at large. Mimi will be missed. I wish her well as she begins her next chapter.

  6. Truly shocking. Pattye – thanks for delivering a more “personal touch” to the story. Wishing Mimi much luck and reflection during this transition….hope she can obtain the balance she’s looking for.

  7. I have a feeling that Mimi sees the writing on the wall and knows that a financial crossroad is coming. She’s leaving just in time to not be involved with the budget process.

    When you have to run a township and are stuck with the fiscal policies that are at the mercy of political mindset an politicians who are all over the map… you have to question how long an individual can hold out.

    With Gene Williams recently leaving Easttown and now Mimi leaving Tredyffrin, we are in an interesting position. Both townships are in very different spots then they were 10 years ago when Mimi started, mostly for the worse financially. There are a lot of hard decisions to be made. A swing in prioritization is vital to the well-being of our local townships.

    Best wishes Mimi!

  8. So the Supervisors pushed Assistant Twp. Manager Tom Scott out the door a few months ago and now Mimi is out. A consultant study got approved to justify cuts to the police department this week. Phil Donahue has made a mess of the Trout Creek Ordinance and can’t make a decision. EJ Richter is more concerned about planting trees in Wilson Park then tackling storm water issues. It’s all ok, we have a AAA bond rating. The lack of leadership is astounding. Tredyffrin is the gold standard from which all other Townships bow before us.

    Mimi do yourself a favor and find a job where people can make a decision and not waste your time and talent. You will be missed!!!

    1. Not only would I waive the requirement, but I would never make it a requirement to live in the township. I cannot imagine how unpleasant a life would be to live in Tredyffrin and be the township manager in this citizen journalist day and age. Too many of us get our informationr information 2nd or 3rd hand and run with “opinion” as fact. How is living here an asset except to shorten the drive home after late night meetings? If it’s your job, you are already all in. Why make it your family’s job too? A qualified applicant required to move here would doubtless reduce the appeal of the job. And given the stability of municipal hires in this economy, WAY too risky.
      I’ll be there tonight too…I want to hear what possible motives are advancing this project. The site density alone makes it unappealing. It’s a commercial site for a reason. Buy the whole parcel if you want a residential effort.

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