Police Officer Christopher Whitney is sworn in by Town Clerk Haley Mezcywor on Wednesday.
ADAMS, Mass. — The town welcomed new Police Officer Christopher Whitney and recognized two departing members of the School Committee and Planning Board for their many years of service.
Whitney, who was met with applause Wednesday after his ratification by the Board of Selectmen, brings over 17 years experience in law enforcement to the department.
"His training and experience speak volumes and he is going to be a tremendous asset to our department and to the town," Police Chief Richard Tarsa said. "To have a new hire with 17 plus years experience that speaks volumes we welcome him and are eager to get him on board."
Tarsa said, to his knowledge, Whitney is only the second lateral transfer to the department. He said Whitney spent the early part of his career in the North Adams Police Department and after seven years there transferred to Pittsfield, where he stayed for 10 years.
He has worked different patrol assignments and holds multiple certifications and trainings. He is a firearms instructor, defensive tactics instructor, and a nonlethal chemical weapons deployment officer.
"He comes with a wealth of knowledge," Tarsa said.
Tarsa said it was after some time off that Whitney decided to come back to law enforcement.
"He decided he wanted to go back into law enforcement and when he heard that we were looking for a lateral or someone who was fully academy trained and he jumped at it," he said. "We are thankful he did so."
The board also acknowledged longtime Planning Board member Barbara Ziemba, who served on the board for 32 years.
"She has served on the Planning Board since 1987 and I just wanted to say thank you," Selectwoman Christine Hoyt said. "Your commitment pushed initiatives forward and I got to watch you go through all of the marijuana bylaw meetings and I learned quite a bit from you."
Selectman Joseph Nowak agreed and said Ziemba was always an independent voice on the board.
"I have known Barbara an awfully long time and she has always given her heart to anything she puts her mind to," he said. "I have been to quite a few meetings and Barb was not afraid to say what she felt and she always had logic behind all of it."
The board also recognized former School Committee member Paul Butler for his 19 years of service to the Adams-Cheshire Regional School District.
"I was there when you started and every decision that you made has been in the interest of the children," said Selectman John Duval, who served on the committee with Butler. "You never had an agenda and everything you did was for the kids and I appreciate that as a former member and a resident of this town."
Hoyt agreed and said Butler was involved in some important decisions during his time on the board including the closing of Cheshire Elementary School in 2016.
"It hasn't been the easiest road all of the time and I know you had to make some very difficult decisions along the way," she said. "We thank you for service to not only Adams but to the entire county."
Butler thanked the board.
"I am very humbled by all of your words and it has been a great pleasure and honor to serve Adams and Cheshire and the entire school district," Butler said. "Our No. 1 goal was to always do what was right by our students."
Both Ziemba and Butler receive certificates from the board.
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Adams Taps Three Finalists for Long-Vacant DPW Position
By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Correspondent
ADAMS, Mass. — Town officials are narrowing in on a new Department of Public Works director after going two years with an interim.
Three candidates have been selected to be interviewed next Tuesday at a public meeting of the board.
Town Administrator Jay Green sees the hiring of the long vacant position as a huge opportunity. When Selectman Joseph Nowak asked him Wednesday about some long anticipated resurfacing work for the residents of Crotteau Street, Green took a big picture approach.
"A lot of the road construction work, or even the maintenance work, that normally would be run by the DPW got shifted to Community Development. They are doing a hell of a job trying to get these things through but we've been slowed down in our abilities by not having a DPW director," he said. "I'm hopeful that we get a reasonable hire and get the person up to speed. Day-to-day operations are being covered. I've had no concerns about day-to-day operations. It's the larger project management and getting things done like that (Crotteau Street project) that constituents have been very patient about that is my top goal."
Chairman Peter Hoyt was cautious and noted the town just implemented Tobacco 21. He said it may be worth waiting to see how this has impacted youth smoking before taking any additional action.
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