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Williamstown Filling Empty Board, Commission Seats

By Tammy Daniels
iBerkshires Staff
03:39AM / Tuesday, October 23, 2012
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Hugh Daley, left, Timothy A. Kaiser, Gregory Hitchcock and Stuart Armet are sworn in at the Selectmen' s meeting on Monday.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — An appeal for citizens to step forward to serve on local boards led to four new public officials being sworn in on Monday night.

Gregory Hitchcock was appointed to a two-year seat and Stuart Armet to a one-year seat on the Sign Commission; Hugh Daley to a two-year term as an associate on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and Timothy Kaiser to a two-year term on the Northern Berkshire Solid Waste District.

"Thanks to everybody who stepped up," said Chairman David Rempell. "As we said at the last meeting, we rely on the citizens."

Hitchcock introduced himself as a journalist who wanted to do his civic duty. Currently a freelancer and volunteer, he stressed his strengths in communication, research and reporting and his experience in covering government boards.

Armet said he had lived in Williamstown for 10 years and thought serving on the Sign Commission was something he'd like to do after hearing the call for civic service. Selectman Ronald Turbin said he has "a fine aesthetic eye," having designed one of the Farmers Market signs.

Daley said he had dealt a lot with zoning issues when he worked in real estate development in Arizona. "I've been reading through our zoning laws," he said. "I'm excited to serve."

The circumstances were slightly different for Kaiser, the town's public works director. Kaiser is replacing retiring Highway Superintendent Scott Parks, who has represented the town on the waste district board for many years. The town has been a member of the solid waste cooperative since 1991.

"I'm here tonight to try to fill Scott's very large shoes in this area," said Kaiser. "He's been our rep for years he's done a great job with it."

The town still has five vacancies for those interested. Four seats are open on the Cable Advisory Committee, which is down to one member. A seat is also open on the Council on Aging, which is appointed by the town manager. Those interested should contact the town manager's offic.

The board also approved two licenses, the first an alteration of an alcohol license for Richard A. Ruether Post 152 American Legion after a public hearing.

The post home at 117 Latham St. was recently sold to Williams College for $775,000 and leased back. Legionnaire Adam Filson, representing the post, said the lease is for the first floor, where the bar is, and the basement for storage. The new license will reflect that and the new officer slate.

A common victualler license and live and background music permit were approved for Terroir Cafe, 240B Main St. (Colonial Plaza), owned by Frank Chen and managed by Peter Harrison, who had operated Poppie's in the same location.

In other business:

Rempell inivited the public to the ribbon cutting of the Youth Center on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and the lighting of the first fire in the newly repaired chimney in the 1853 House on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m.

Selectwoman Jane Allen reminded the audience that a reception was being held for the new CEO of Northern Berkshire Healthcare on Wednesday from 5 to 7 at the hospital. American Legion Post Cmdr. Kevin Hamel invited the Selectmen to the Veterans Day ceremony at the post on Sunday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m.

The new photovoltaic system has been installed on the Eastlawn Cemetery maintenance garage and is expected to save between $2,000 and $2,500 per year in electrical costs. The $43,775 project was funded through the Green Communities Act and Commonwealth Solar program rebates.

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