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The Selectmen will narrow down the nine applicants to a few who will be interviewed in public.

Cheshire to Begin Town Administrator Selection Process

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Selectmen will narrow down a pool of nine candidates for town administrator to a few finalists. 
 
Retiring Town Administrator Mark Webber told the board on Tuesday that now that the job posting has ended, the selectmen must start the town administrator selection process. 
 
"I have made up a packet for each of you to review, and I have done some Google background on some of them, but I will save that until they make the initial cut or not," Webber said. "I suggest that the board review the resumes and do as much research and reference calls as you are able to do over the next week."
 
The board will meet in executive sessions to knock down the candidate pool to a group of finalists that will be interviewed in public. 
 
Webber plans to retire in November and town hopes to hire another part-time town administrator to replace him.
 
Also in his report, Webber said he contacted the attorney general's office to get approval for emergency procurement for funds needed to rebuild a portion of the fire station roof but has not heard back yet. 
 
"The later we get in the season the more difficult it will be to get the work done especially the membrane roof," Webber said.
 
After a portion of the fire station roof collapsed this summer, the town held a special town meeting to transfer $85,000 from stabilization to completely rebuild the open part of the roof.
 
Selectwoman Carol Francesconi said the sooner the town can get approval the better.
 
"With all of the rain we are getting, the walls are now going to be ruined and that carpet that we just put in last year is sopping wet," she said. "It is not a good situation."
 
In other business, Selectman Robert Ciskowski asked Highway Superintendent Blair Crane if he noticed that the pond near Bedard Brothers had risen.
 
Crane said he did notice the highwater mark and already knew the culprit.
 
Beavers — again.
 
"The state put a grate in there so the beavers couldn't dam it up again so now they are crossing the road in such a frequency that they actually made a slide down the banking," Crane said. "They dammed it up near the rail trail ... they figured out that they couldn't dam it there and went downstream to a place where they could."
 
Crane said the state will relocate the beavers. 
 
Ciskowski added that he noticed that the spillway was also filling up with weeds and brush.
 
Crane said this, too, could be the work of beavers
 
"I can take a look at it. The beavers had dammed up there at some point last spring," he said. "They started on one side and systematically worked their way across the spillway. Literally, half the spillway was dry."
 
Ciskowski had few words about the town's ongoing beaver issue.
 
"See if you can get those beavers an application with Mass Highway," he said. "They are pretty sharp."
 
Before closing, Water Commissioner Francis "Biggs" Waterman said he did not plan to run again when his term ends in the spring.
 
"Just so everyone knows I am not running again and I want to try to retire early," he said. "I want to get all of my ducks in a row now so I am looking for someone now so if anyone is interested they can come to a meeting."

Tags: search committee,   town administrator,   

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Hoosac Valley School Committee Accept District Improvement Plan

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley Regional School Committee last week approved a District Improvement Plan for this school year.
 
The plan presented Monday by Superintendent Aaron Dean that was lauded before the committee's formal approval.
 
"This is a tremendous amount of information," School Committee member Mike Mucci said.
 
The plan is split into four objectives: curriculum and instruction, teaching all students, family and community engagement, and professional culture. Dean said these objectives were informed by district administrators.  
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