CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Town Administrator Carl McKinney abruptly quit on Monday, citing the town's failure to abide by his contract.
"The Select Board refused to recognize the validity of my employment contract with the town, and their refusal to abide by the duly negotiated terms and conditions of my contract therein," McKinney wrote in an email to iBerkshires on Wednesday.
Select Board Chairman Ronald Boucher on Tuesday night explained McKinney's absence from the debt-exclusion vote information session by saying he had resigned.
"I just wanted to take a minute to thank him for his time on the Select Board in this time is town manager and what he gave back to the town," Boucher said. "It's an unfortunate thing but we have to go forward."
McKinney, who grew up in Clarksburg and served on the Finance Committee and Select Board, was hired in 2014 after the town spent months trying to function without an administrative leader. It took an election and board turnover for a majority of the three-person board to offer McKinney the post that July.
During his tenure, he had focused on pursuing grants to address the town's numerous road issues and fought with state agencies to relieve the town of expensive construction mandates. He brought in nearly $1.5 million in grants, served in alternate capacities on several boards and has helped shepherd the Briggsville Water District toward a sustainable future.
"While this turn of events brings me no joy, it should not distract the good citizens of my hometown from dealing with the very real issues facing a fiscally constrained community," he wrote. "There is much to be done, and the infrastructure of Clarksburg and the sustainability of the Clarksburg Elementary School is what is at stake."
Boucher said there had been questions over the terms of the McKinney's contract, negotiated under the previous board. The two-person Select Board had voted to offer the administrator half of the wage increase he said was entitled to.
Select Board member Karin Robert and Boucher said McKinney had requested an executive session for Monday but did not appear. Instead, they found a letter of resignation, which they accepted. Boucher on Tuesday said McKinney is now using up days he was owed.
"In the interim, I'll be handling day-to-day operations at Town Hall, until we find a replacement," Boucher said. "Things won't change, we will continue to be proactive and try to better the town as we go forward."
McKinney is leaving just a week before the town election and meeting, which includes a debt exclusion vote he has championed as a way to address a number of infrastructure issues.
In his email, McKinney asks the citizens of Clarksburg to vote favorably on the $1 million, five-year borrowing proposal.
"We have a nice community, and it is worth saving," he said. "It has been my life's pleasure serving the town of Clarksburg over the last 18 years. While I am not happy with the turn of events, we should not lose sight of the important tasks before us."
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
With Heating Set, Clarksburg School Turns to Security Upgrade
By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Clarksburg School expects to have plans in hand for a new security entrance in two weeks.
Principal Tara Barnes reported that Westall Architects is nearly completed with designs that will allow the project to be put to out to bid.
"They've been working on plans for a while, and they should have something else back Oct. 14," she told the School Committee and members of the renovation group on Thursday. "They've been working with some engineers and drawing the design in touch with folks who do the glass."
The school received a $35,000 state grant to address security concerns. Barnes said she had not detailed the need for a public address system but felt that also falls under security.
The Select Board interviewed finalists Lisa Blackmer, treasurer/tax collector in the town of Buckland, and Rebecca Stone, town administrator in Otis, and plan to pick one of the two Wednesday to replace former Town Administrator Carl McKinney who resigned in May.
click for more