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Bunt Resigns as Tourism Director

Staff Reports

Rod Bunt, right, leads the Fall Foliage Children's Parade in 2009. The director of the city's office of tourism for the last decade resigned Thursday.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Rod Bunt quit abruptly Thursday as the city's director of tourism and cultural development.

Mayor Richard Alcombright said he and Bunt had spoken Wednesday and the parting was amicable. Bunt submitted his resignation effective today.

"I wasn't shocked, he wasn't shocked," said the mayor, who added that Bunt was planning to pursue opportunities in the private sector. "I'll miss him, he's a great guy."

Bunt told the North Adams Transcript, which broke the story earlier this afternoon, that his annual salary of $34,160 hasn't moved much since he was hired in 2001 and he "had some irons in the fire."

The former WNAW morning show host was named director for the newly created office in 2001 by former Mayor John Barrett III. He oversaw events and promotions in the city including the annual farmers' market, Winterfest and the Fall Foliage Festival.

He told the Transcript it wouldn't be fair to the city to hold the post while looking elsewhere. Bunt said he would be available to help the new director transition into the job.

"Rod's been the events guy for the city for 10-plus years," said Alcombright. "He's done a lot of things and grown a lot of events. He's been kind of the feet on the street for us."

Bunt reportedly also resigned as director of the annual Fall Foliage Parade, according to an e-mail sent from parade sponsor Berkshire Chamber of Commerce to the Parade Committee.

His name was removed from the city's website by Thursday afternoon. The mayor's administrative assistant Lisa Loomis is listed as the contact and will be the liasion to the chamber.

A call to Bunt on Thursday has not yet been returned.

With a summer season filled with the Food Festival, the return of Wilco and a giant Zumba dance fundraiser on Main Street for the annual Relay for Life, the position won't go vacant long. Bunt's departure, however, will give the city an opportunity to re-envision the job's responsibilities and write a "carefully crafted" job description, said the mayor.

That will mean searching for someone with a marketing and branding background, and possibly experience in business and the arts, to coordinate with the city's cultural and business groups. The mayor expected to post the position within the next week or so.

"I fully intend to fill the position," said Alcombright. "There are a lot of events that are in a sense city events that you can't bump off onto the private sectors."

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:: Preliminary Election: Deadline to register is Wednesday, Sept. 7. (Office open from 8 to 8.)
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Registration can be completed at the city clerk's office at City Hall.

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Returned Papers
As of 8/9 at 5 p.m.
 Lisa M. Blackmer* Yes
 Michael Bloom Yes
 Keith Bona* Yes
 David Bond* Yes
 Marie Harpin* Yes
 Alan Marden* Yes
 John Barrett Yes
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 Kellie A. Morrison  Yes
 Greg Roach  Yes
 Gail Kolis Sellers  Yes
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 Richard J. Alcombright*  Yes
 Ronald A. Boucher  Yes
 Robert Martelle  Yes
 Preliminary election will eliminate one
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 Mary Lou Accetta* Yes
 Lawrence K. Taft* Yes
 Leonard Giroux Jr.  Yes
 Tara J. Jacobs  Yes
 David Lamarre Yes
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 George M. Canales Yes

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