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."
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Clarksburg Still Hoping for State Funds Toward School Repairs
By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
Cindy Brule, left, was elected secretary and Laura Wood as chairman of the School Committee. Eric Denette, elected at the annual town election, was absent.
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — Officials are still hoping that funding will come through to help with repairs at Clarksburg School.
The town's state officials have not been optimistic about the chances of the governor releasing a $500,000 earmark placed in a bond by state Sen. Adam Hinds to redo the school's roof — even with the town meeting's passage of a $1 million borrowing to help address building issues.
"I'm kind of disappointed that our local officials and people have sort of given up and even our state rep," said Robert Norcross, one of the leads of the volunteer renovation committee trying to undertake repairs at the school. "I think we could have gotten this."
However, he had been informed by Hinds' office that the money is in a five-year plan and while it's too late to get it into next year's budget there will be supplemental budgets and that they will continue to fight for.
Christian Womble tossed a complete-game with 10 strikeouts and scored the first run, and Anton Lazits had a solo home run to lead Taconic to a 5-1 win over Wahconah in the Western Mass Division 3 championship at UMass on Saturday. click for more
A $1 million borrowing to fix infrastructure needs passed by a large margin on Wednesday night and the results were met with cheers.
The final tally was 157-43, more than three to one in favor. click for more
Voters passed by simple majority a Proposition 2 1/2 debt exclusion by a vote of 196-157.
They also returned a former Select Board member and ousted an incumbent in an election that once again filled the board with three members. click for more
Madison Ross took home a gold medal and two second-place finishes, and her Mount Greylock teammates won the mile relay to close the meet as the Mounties placed second at the Central/Western Massachusetts Division 2 Championships at Westfield State University. click for more