Selectmen Jeffrey Snoonian, left, and Joseph Nowak listen to BRPC's Tom Matuszko talk about National Forest opportunities.
ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen selected the seven members who will be on the Town Administrator Search Committee at its workshop meeting Wednesday night.
Police Chief Richard Tarsa, former Selectman Michael Ouellette, town meeting members Jeffrey Lefebvre and Carol Corrigan, Council on Aging Director Erica Girgenti, McCann Technical School Superintendent James Brosnan, and attorney Jeffrey Grandchamp, also a town meeting member, were selected from 15 applicants to lead the search for the new town administrator.
After current Town Administrator Jonathan Butler announced he will not seek reappointment, the Board of Selectmen began organizing a Search Committee and looking for an interim to shadow Butler as he moves out of his old position.
Butler was named on Wednesday as the new president of the Berkshire Chamber of Commerce, to begin in September, so the Selectman also must prepare to fill his position in the interim.
"We can't put a great deal more urgency on this because we recognized that we had to move forward with this fairly quickly," Chairman Arthur "Skip" Harrington said.
The members of the committee will soon meet with the Selectmen to go over their job description and discuss how they would like to go through with the process.
Harrington said he does not plan to have a new town administrator until the beginning of next year.
"I think between advertising and interviewing … it is going to be that time consuming," he said.
The individual who will shadow Butler until the end of his tenure and fill in as the interim administrator when he leaves will be announced during next Wednesday's Selectmen's meeting.
Also on Wednesday, Thomas Matuszko from the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission spoke with the board about National Forest designation. He said Adams can opt into the program that will make designated areas eligible for grant funding to better utilize the Berkshire's forest area.
"There is an awful lot of forestry resources, and … it seems to us …that those resources aren't being fully utilized," Matuszko said. "They could be utilized for forest harvest and logging, but also recreational opportunities … and forest products."
The program has two goals: capitalizing on forestland economic resources and conservation and to entice the government into aiding with these goals.
If Adams joins the 20 municipalities eligible for the program, the Greylock Glen Project could benefit, Matuszko said.
"If there were a way to match up the resources coming from the forest center to the Greylock Glen I think that could be a very beneficial opportunity," he said.
Matuszko said BRPC is putting together an advisory board representing the 20 areas to help better sculpt the program, which is still in its organizational phases. He said the Selectmen can appoint someone to the board, however, it does not mean Adams has to participate in the program. The Selectmen said they will try to appoint someone at the next meeting.
Matuszko explained that once a municipality joins the designation private land owners can enter into the agreement, and their land could be utilized. If their land is utilized they can take part in the government's financial and technical resources.
"It's a possible opportunity for landowners who want to practice better forest management practices on their lands," he said. "There would be some additional resources to help them do that."
He said the town should be prepared to make a decision whether or not it will want to participate by fall.
Updated to indicate known affiliations of the search committee members.