Meeting Thursday to appoint a town accountant are Selectmen Jeffrey Levanos, Chairman Carl McKinney and Lily Kuzia. Also at the table are interim administrator Debra Choquette and new Town Administrator Thomas Webb.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The Selectmen on Thursday morning marked the return of normalcy to the town's government with the appointment of a new town accountant.
The selection of Christa Marsh, the treasurer until that post was eliminated as an elective office in the town election last week, completes the town's administrative structure.
The meeting table on Thursday was at capacity with the addition of Selectman Jeffrey Levanos, elected last week, and new Town Administrator Thomas Webb.
Town officials have been struggling for months after losing its administrator, who'd also come to fill other appointed posts over time, as well as its longtime board chairman. Not long after, the part-time town accountant also left for a full-time job at North Adams City Hall.
It also marked Thursday as the last morning meeting for the board and a return to its regularly scheduled meetings on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month.
Chairman Carl McKinney and Selectwoman Lily Kuzia had been meeting at least once a week or more in the mornings to keep the town operating. Without a town administrator, the two had to meet publicly to comply with Open Meeting law to discuss town business, make decisions, and sign off on various issues.
"Decisions had to be made on a weekly basis," said McKinney after Thursday's meeting. "That was the driving force. We needed to communicate and there was a lot of issues on our plate that had to be addressed."
Marsh was appointed accountant with a vote of 2-1, with Kuzia the naye vote. The choice for the 10-hour post was split at the last meeting with McKinney voting for Marsh and Kuzia for Town Clerk Carol Jammalo.
Levanos was the needed tie-breaker, siding with McKinney based on Marsh's experience.
"I was here for both interviews, both ladies did very well. I was impressed with both," he said. "There is a little bit of urgency to the accountant's position, I feel, so I needed to make a decision on based on who was more familiar with the situation of the town."
Marsh will work Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 to 3. She said she would work on her own time with current accountant Beverly Cooper next week; Cooper's resignation is effective June 1. The board set a nine-month probationary period for Marsh.
In other business:
• The board confirmed the hours the tax collector and treasurer, both now appointed positions filled by Melissa Wandrei, at four days a week: 8 to 4:30 on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 11-3:30 on Tuesday. Her office is on the ground floor of Town Hall near the back door.
• Brought to Webb's attention the continued problem with the alarm at the Senior Center. McKinney expressed frustraton at the cost and failure to fix the system. Chief Michael Williams has been working with Lee Audio to modify the bill.
• Jammalo reminded elected and appointed officials that they needed to contact her to be sworn in and that the due date for dog licenses are June 1. Her office will be closed June 6-8 while she attends a conference.
• The next meeting will be Wednesday, June 13, at 6:30 p.m.
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