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Consultant Bernie Lynch of Community Paradigm Associates describes the candidates being recommended to the Board of Selectmen.

Adams Selectmen to Interview Three For Town Administrator

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — Three candidates for town administrator are being brought forward for interviews with the Board of Selectmen later this month.
 
Consultant Bernie Lynch of Community Paradigm Associates and Town Administrator Search Committee member Jeff Grandchamp brought forth three candidates Wednesday for the Selectmen to consider: Jay Green, an attorney and former North Adams administrative officer; Steve Neratko, who works in economic development for the town of Dover, Vt., and Great Barrington Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin.
 
"I think we have three great candidates and the committee had the consensus that we were glad we were not the body making the decision to chose one of the three," Grandchamp said.
 
The search process began in early 2018 after Town Administrator Tony Mazzucco left his post but the search committee was not satisfied with the first candidate pool. 
 
After suspending the process, the Selectmen voted to hire consultants Community Paradigm Associates to help with the search and, in January, the search committee was reformed. 
 
Lynch said he was impressed by the quality of the candidates and briefly went over their resumes.
 
"We were pleased with the process and the response that we have received," he said. "It was a tough decision in many ways who to bring forward because they are such good candidates."
 
Lynch said Green is currently employed by Amtrak as a district manager and is heavily involved in the nonprofit Berkshire Scenic Railway, which runs through Adams. Prior to that, he was chief administrative officer for several years in North Adams and a prosecutor in the Berkshire district attorney's office.
 
"It was during a very difficult period back in the great recession and during that period of time, he served in the transition of two mayors -- one hired him and the other kept him on," Lynch said. "He comes highly recommended from the people in North Adams ... he knows Adams and he knows the region."
 
Neratko is the planner and director of economic and community development in Dover, but also has also served in a similar position in Allentown, Pa., and Dunkirk, N.Y.
 
"He has an understanding of downtown revitalization and project management and he comes with some engineering experience," Lynch said. "He has a good understanding of municipal government and what to bring to the table to help Adams."
 
Tabakin is currently the town manager in Great Barrington but has also worked for New York City mayor's office. She had informed her Great Barrington board last spring that she would step down on the expiration her six-year contract this June.
 
"She is looking for some new challenges and new direction and she has a particular interest with what is going on in Admas in the downtown and with the Glen," Lynch said. "She knows the Berkshires and she knows small government."
 
Chairman John Duval said he was impressed by the quality of the candidates and was happy to have a better selection this round.  
 
"These three candidates all bring different strengths and qualities and ... by looking at the paper I think we have three very qualified candidates," he said. "So thank you."
 
Lynch said the committee selected these three candidates from a pool of 17 and that all references have been checked and cleared. He also said they cleared a CORI, or criminal background, check. 
 
The town's next step is to schedule community tours for the three candidates next week.
 
The Selectmen plan to hold these interviews Saturday, Feb. 16, and plan to deliberate and make a decision the board's following meeting.

Tags: candidate interviews,   search committee,   town administrator,   

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Adams Selectmen Hear From Ale House Owner

By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff

Nate Girard explains his predicament to the Selectmen on Wednesday.
ADAMS, Mass. — Nate Girard and his longtime friend Erik Pizani decided to buy the Saint Stanislaus Kostka Hall in 2012. The property had a rich history in town and most people had memories of bowling, playing pitch, attending a wedding, or just sitting at an old red leather stool and enjoying a cheap beer.
 
The two partners, along with another investor, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars bringing the structure up to code and restoring the bar and kitchen. The Adams Ale House was born. Both of them ran the restaurant, bought houses, had kids, went into real estate together, and celebrated the boom and even the bust times. 
 
Pizani eventually left the restaurant business and left Girard as the sole owner of the building. Girard decided to lease the restaurant space to focus solely on real estate and his young family. The new operators didn't last long in a tough restaurant market and went out of business in December 2018.
 
The building on East Hoosac Street has sat unused since then. Girard has it listed it on several sources and is still hopeful he can find a taker. The idle liquor license he still holds, however, has become an issue for the town.
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