Adams' Exiting Administrator Working to Keep Projects Moving

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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Jonathan Butler will leave at the end of his contract in 2015.

ADAMS, Mass. — Jonathan Butler will spend the next year securing some of the town's critical development projects before leaving the post of administrator post.

Butler announced last week that he would leave at the end of his three-year contract in June 2015.

But coming up are Park Street streetscape project, the roundabout planned for the Friend Street intersection and the Berkshire Scenic Railway.

"I'd like to get all of those things left on the right note or as close to completion as possible before I go and other than that just get the community more healthy and maintain the progress we are making now," Butler said last week.

He also hopes to fill the vacancies in staffing left by retirements.

"I want to make sure we get those positions filled with competent individuals," he said

Butler explained that he wanted to give the town ample time to make the transition to a new town administrator.

"I just thought it made sense now to get it out there," he said. "It is a process to fill these positions, and I wanted to give the selectmen time to prepare a thoughtful process so they don't end up with a huge gap where there is no management."

The former legislative aide to state Sen. Benjamin B. Downing was hired in 2009, ending a more discordant period in town government that had seen one administrator resign, another fired and several interims step in.

Butler he had only planned to stay in the post for two or three cycles, and made that clear when he was hired in 2009.

While he has no specific idea of what he will do next, he would prefer a position in economic development in the region.

"My passion is economic development," Butler said. "That is what I care about and what I think the region needs to fix all of our problems, and I would like to get into work that focuses more exclusively on that."

He was a staff assistant in the Executive Office of Economic Development's Department of Business and Technology before working for Downing. He holds master's degrees in political science and public administration from Suffolk University.

Butler said he hopes that the Board of Selectmen will keep to the town's present economic strategy.

"I think we have done a lot of good work in the last five years to stabilize things, and I would like to hopefully transition to a town administrator that will continue that work rather than go in a different direction," he said. "I think continued progress in the direction we have set ourselves forward with is what we need."

Butler is a Cheshire native, but said he always saw Adams as his hometown.

"When you grow up in Cheshire, Adams is like your downtown," Butler said. "It's where you hangout, it is where you go to eat, and it's where you spend your time when you are in high school, so it very much was a hometown experience from day one."

Butler said being the town administrator in his hometown was a beneficial experience.

"You know the people, you know the concerns, and I think when you understand where a community has come from, you better understand how to get it where it needs to be," Butler said.

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