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Selectwoman Carol Francesconi was presented with a resolution in her honor by state Rep. John Barrett III on Tuesday during her last meeting as a member of the board.

Francesconi Chairs Last Meeting as Cheshire Selectman

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — Town Hall bid farewell to longtime Selectwoman Carol Francesconi as she chaired her last meeting of the board on Tuesday night. 
First elected in 1989, the veteran public servant was returned for a 10th term in 2016 against one of the few challengers she's faced over the past three decades. She's served as chairman of the board numerous times and currently also serves on the Conservation Commission.
"I have loved every minute it of it," Francesconi said. "Almost every minute. Thank you all very much."
Before business officially kicked off Tuesday, state Rep. John Barrett III made an appearance and read a special resolution from the House of Representatives.
"We can't let you leave without a little bit of fanfare," he said. "This isn't your typical one that we run off — this is on parchment paper and it is in the record at the State House and your grandchildren can one day take their children to see it."
Barrett added that he and Francesconi have a history that goes go back to the County Commission days and he said she has truly made Cheshire a better place.
"What you are seeing today is someone who has served on the board for 30 years and I don't think you will ever see this again," he said. "So it is a very important day in the town of Cheshire ... you left this place a lot better than what you inherited. Your fingerprints are all over this community. ...
Congratulations on a job well done."
Former Selectman Paul Astorino, who served with Francesconi, also stopped by Town Hall to see her off.
"I just want to thank you for your years of service," he said. "The town is going to miss you."
Her final three-year term ends this Monday with an election that will bring two new faces to the three-member board. 
The election will also determine, for a final time, whether the board will be expanded to five members.

Tags: resolution,   retirement,   

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Explorers Guide to the Berkshires: 'Berkshire Destinations'

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff

Raven Rock in Adams is a remote and challenging destination to reach.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — Local authors Jan and Christy Butler penned "Berkshire Destinations," an explorers guide to waterfalls, boulders, vistas and points of interest of the Berkshire Hills and Western Massachusetts.
"Berkshire Destinations" is the Butlers' fourth book and the "unconventional explorer's guide" includes 159 chapters that will guide readers to known and obscure waterfalls, glacial erratics, vistas, gardens, cultural institutions, and historical landmarks found in the Western Massachusetts foothills.
"Having a hiking guide to vistas, boulders and waterfalls is all well and good, so long as the weather is cooperating," Christy said. "So diversifying does provide a change of pace for rainy days or after completion some alternatives for those who want a change of pace."
Christy said he first planned to write a book only about New England statues but after receiving some feedback from friends and readers, he decided to keep his focus in Berkshire County and Western Massachusetts.
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