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North Adams Trustees Want Voice in Library Director Candidates

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The library trustees want to make sure they're in the loop when it comes to choosing the new library director. 
 
Current director Mindy Hackner, who is retiring, told the trustees Wednesday that she plans to post her position within the next few weeks. 
 
"I think if I post this week or next at some of the venues by January, I think we will start to see people," Hackner said.
 
Hackner said there are no internal candidates interested but if they have difficulties hiring someone a current employee may have to act as an interim director.
 
"It might take a little while," she said.
 
Hackner was hired in 2014 after working many years at the Milne Public Library in Williamstown. She announced plans in May to retire within a year.
 
The trustees said they wanted to see applications first before sending them off to the mayor – who ultimately will make the decision.
 
"I think it should come to the trustees and then to the mayor," Trustee Nicole Gordon said. "It is a city position, but it is still pretty internal."
 
Trustee Robin Martin agreed and said she feared if the applications went right to the mayor he would pick a new director on his own.
 
Before closing, Hackner went over some continued maintenance issues at the library and said there is still an opening in the belvedere.
 
"The wood rotted out and the glass slipped down so it open to the elements on the tower," she said. "It is very hard to get to and we put a board up there so pigeons won't fly in."
 
As for the cracked thermal pane that protects the stained-glass window on the library's side entrance, the city may place a piece of Lexan over it and protect it until a more permanent solution can be found.
 
Removing the pane is a difficult task that could damage the custom window that was installed a dozen years ago when the building was renovated and added onto. The city has yet to find someone willing to take on the job.
 
Hackner said the city has been more responsive to maintenance issues in general. A number of areas in the older portion of the 150-year-old mansion have shown signs of deterioration.  
 
In other business, the trustees welcomed new member Ely Janis who replaced longtime member Harris Elder, who resigned last meeting.
 
Vice Chairman Rich Remsberg will continue as acting chairman for the time being. 

Tags: library director,   NAPL,   retirement,   

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Mohawk Trail Woodlands, Forest Service Team Up on Conservation

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

BRPC's Tom Matuszko asks advisory board members to raise their hands as FRCOG's Executive Director Linda Dunlavy waits to speak.
CHARLEMONT, Mass. — A shared stewardship agreement signed Thursday will bring U.S. Forest Service expertise to the state while keeping hundreds of thousands of acres of forestland in state and private hands. 
 
The Mohawk Trail Woodland Partnership encompasses 361,941 acres of state and private land across 21 communities in the northwestern corner of the state. About 28 percent of that land is permanently protected. The partnership will enhance conservation and forest research and provide technical support for businesses that depend on the region's natural resources such as tourism and forestry products.
 
"I am from this region, it is a part of the state that is near and dear to my heart," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides at signing held at Berkshire East Mountain Resort. "Something that is a priority to the governor is making sure that this region can continue to have economic security and opportunity for people, but also that connectedness to the landscape and that rootedness in the special places that make up Western Massachusetts."
 
Theoharides said the state is losing about 65 acres of forestland a day to development — housing, parking lots, and commercial establishments — and it's not coming back.  
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