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Cheshire Posts Town Administrator Position

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The town administrator position has been posted and the deadline for applications is Oct. 16.
Outgoing Town Administrator Mark Webber told the Selectmen on Tuesday that his position has been posted in various media and an updated job description will be posted online. 
"The town administrator help wanted ad was placed … and I revised the job description," Webber said. "I have already received one letter application."
Webber, who has been with the town for nearly 10 years total, plans to retire in November. Currently, he is in town one day a week and although the new town administrator will continue to be part time, the salary has been increased to reflect a three-day work week.
While there is only one known applicant at this time, Edmund St. John IV has vacated his seat on the Board of Selectman with the intention of applying for the position. He is required to wait 30 days from his resignation before applying.
The Selectmen said they have not yet decided if they will hold a special election to fill the empty seat on the three-person board.
"We haven't decided yet we are waiting until things settle then we are going to figure out what to do," Chairwoman Carol Francesconi said. 
In other business, the Selectmen voted to allow the North Berkshire Academy to lease four classrooms in the closed Cheshire Elementary School. The academy is a collaborative of the North Adams Public Schools and the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District to educate children with specialized needs rather than sending them out of the district. It also has offices in North Adams Armory.
Although the board was happy to allow the group to use the building, this led to questions about boiler issues in the building that need to be addressed.
"I think we are trapped, and we have to do something," Selectman Robert Ciskowski said. "I am not sure what repair to do."
Although the town plans to effectively mothball the old section of the building and only have minimal heat to keep water mains from freezing, the new section of the building will continue to be used by the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District and the new tenants.
Webber said the fix is estimated to cost $100,000 and it is unknown if other issues exist in the system.
Ciskowski said with so much uncertainty around the future use of the building, he did not feel comfortable making such an expensive repair when optimally the town would want to switch over from a steam system to a hot-water system.
"I know we have to do something about the heat in the new section but if we eventually go to a simpler more reliable system we will not be utilizing the repair we are going to do now," Ciskowski said. "I don't want to spend the money … this is not an ideal situation."
The town would like to go forward with moving Town Hall to the school, which would almost definitely trigger a more substantial overhaul of the heating system. Ciskowski said whatever the town decides to do with this immediate repair he wants it to be cheap.
"We don't know what we are going to do with that building and if we want to make it the town office that would be the time to do heating but that is a pipe dream," Ciskowski said. "I hate to put too much in it and this is going to be an expensive repair."
Ciskowski said he wished the town had more time before winter and a firmer vision of what the school will become.
"In an ideal world if we could turn the clock back to the end of winter we would have more options," Ciskowski said. "It is an old building and it was out of our care for a long time … it really got away from us … but we really need to have a plan, so we can do this right."

Tags: cheshire school,   job posting,   town administrator,   

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'It's A Wonderful Life' Radio Play Being Staged in Cheshire

This particular production is intended to be "script-in-hand," a full reading/performance of a play where the actors are allowed to have their scripts in their hands so lines need not be memorized.

CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Cheshire Community Association will present a community production of the Frank Capra family classic "It’s a Wonderful Life," adapted by Tony Palermo, at Tuesday, December 17, at 7 p.m. in the Parish Hall of St. Mary of the Assumption Parish at 159 Church St.

Brought to the stage as a 1940s radio broadcast in front of a studio audience, a dozen actors play radio dramatists, who, in turn, portray 30 characters from the heart-warming holiday film. Featuring live sound effects and an original score, this is a rare opportunity to see how a 1940s radio show was produced.

Producer/director Marya LaRoche has put together a cast of acting newcomers and seasoned veterans, featuring Simon Cole as George Bailey, Tommy Towne as Clarence, Elizabeth Kozik as Superintendent of Angels, Casey McShain as Mary Hatch Bailey, Travis Mille as Radio Announcer/Uncle Billy, and Shevaun Keogh-Walker as Potter, along with Curtis Elfenbein Asch, Mary Lou Burdick, Michael Morin Garrity, Patricia Kelly, Tyne LaRoche, and Larry Leavitt covering multiple roles.

This particular production is intended to be "script-in-hand," a full reading/performance of a play where the actors are allowed to have their scripts in their hands so lines need not be memorized. The director will utilize blocking, limited costumes, props and sound effects to create a performance experience for the audience.

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