ADAMS, Mass. — The Selectmen on Wednesday voted to offer the position of town administrator to Jay Green, an attorney and former administrative officer for the city of North Adams.
Four of the five board members voted in Green's favor with the fifth, Selectman Joseph Nowak, abstaining.
Adams has been without a permanent town administrator for more than a year. Community Development Director Donna Cesan has been filling in — for the second time — as the town has searched for a replacement.
Green, currently a district manager for Amtrak, comes with a diverse resume in the private and public sphere and a more direct connection to the town through the Berkshire Scenic Railway, which departs from Hoosac Street.
The vote in his favor came after a brief discussion on the candidates and the process.
"To me, I think it is that strong leadership that he indicated and he is someone who is going to fight for the town," Chairman John Duval said. "It was close and it really did make for a tough decision for this board."
On Saturday, the entire board had interviewed the three finalists selected by the screening committee that also included Jennifer Tabakin, town manager of Great Barrington and Steve Neratko, who works in economic development for the town of Dover, Vt.
This was the town's second attempt of attracting a town administrator after Tony Mazzucco left the post in late 2017.
The board was quick to nominate Green and Selectman Richard Blanchard said his experience put him on top.
"It came down to a little more experience in North Berkshire," he said. "That tipped my decision."
Hoyt agreed and said she was impressed by how he has communicated with the town as a volunteer with the Berkshire Scenic Railway and his knowledge of emergency management and communication skills.
Selectman James Bush said he was impressed by what Green has done with the volunteer railway and hoped this could be extended to Adams.
"Getting that developed in town and seeing that grow is tremendous," he said. "I think he can use that knowledge to progress the Greylock Glen."
After Blanchard nominated Green, Nowak nominated Tabakin.
He was impressed by Tabakin and was hesitant to look too far into any "bad press" that came out of Great Barrington.
"I just looked at her and felt as though she could hit the ground running she knows the players and this is a tough decision," he said. "I just think she has the knowledge and background for everything we want to accomplish in town."
Duval and Hoyt both said they also considered Tabakin but in the end, Green was their favorite.
Nowak then withdrew her nomination when it became apparent Green was the favorite. He abstained, he said, because he didn't want to go against the board and he did like Green.
The Selectmen still have to negotiate a contract with Green, should he accept.
The board did thank Cesan for her service as the interim town administrator. She will continue to until a contract is signed.
"It is because of Donna that a lot of things in this community are happening," Nowak said. "She is very knowledgeable about all situations put before her and I thank you."
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The late Adams fire chief decided to throw a turkey dinner for any senior citizen able to show up on the first Wednesday in December. All the fixings, no charge, no questions asked. All run by himself and his fellow firefighters.
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