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Selectwoman Carol Francesconi was presented with a resolution in her honor by state Rep. John Barrett III on Tuesday during her last meeting as a member of the board.

Francesconi Chairs Last Meeting as Cheshire Selectman

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — Town Hall bid farewell to longtime Selectwoman Carol Francesconi as she chaired her last meeting of the board on Tuesday night. 
 
First elected in 1989, the veteran public servant was returned for a 10th term in 2016 against one of the few challengers she's faced over the past three decades. She's served as chairman of the board numerous times and currently also serves on the Conservation Commission.
 
"I have loved every minute it of it," Francesconi said. "Almost every minute. Thank you all very much."
 
Before business officially kicked off Tuesday, state Rep. John Barrett III made an appearance and read a special resolution from the House of Representatives.
 
"We can't let you leave without a little bit of fanfare," he said. "This isn't your typical one that we run off — this is on parchment paper and it is in the record at the State House and your grandchildren can one day take their children to see it."
 
Barrett added that he and Francesconi have a history that goes go back to the County Commission days and he said she has truly made Cheshire a better place.
 
"What you are seeing today is someone who has served on the board for 30 years and I don't think you will ever see this again," he said. "So it is a very important day in the town of Cheshire ... you left this place a lot better than what you inherited. Your fingerprints are all over this community. ...
 
Congratulations on a job well done."
 
Former Selectman Paul Astorino, who served with Francesconi, also stopped by Town Hall to see her off.
 
"I just want to thank you for your years of service," he said. "The town is going to miss you."
 
Her final three-year term ends this Monday with an election that will bring two new faces to the three-member board. 
 
The election will also determine, for a final time, whether the board will be expanded to five members.
 

Tags: resolution,   retirement,   

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Cheshire Will Try to Accommodate Hiker Camping

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — Town officials will apply for a special permit on behalf of Appalachian Trail hikers to accommodate camping on the Cheshire School grounds.
 
A proposal to place a camping site on the town-owned land came to a halt last week when it was found to be in violation of the town's zoning. 
 
After some research, Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV told the board of Selectmen on Tuesday that he may have found a way to establish a campsite for through-hikers on a portion of the grounds of the vacant school.
 
"I think last week was good to get all of that information out so we know what the issues are but just because there are issues does not mean that there is not a path we can move forward on," St. John said.
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