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Town Administrator Carl McKinney, center, celebrating the town's Green Communities grant in 2017.

Clarksburg Town Administrator Submits Resignation

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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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."

Tags: resignation,   town administrator,   

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Clarksburg Applying for Housing Rehabilitation Grant Funds

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The town is applying for about $300,000 in federal money that can help some residents fix up their homes. 
The Select Board on Wednesday voted to sign on to a Community Development Block Grant application with the towns of Lee and Lenox for housing rehabilitation. The application is due on March 6. 
"This is a competitive grant application ... the most amount of money for one town would be $800,000 and for several towns going together, it's up to $1.3 million," explained Patricia Mullins, community and economic development program manager for Berkshire Regional Planning Commission. Administrative and program delivery costs would leave about $900,000 — or $300,000 for each town. "By the three towns going in together, the application is stronger because number one, it shows that it's a regional grant and that basically you're sharing and the administrative services that would be provided."
CDBG grants are funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and apportioned by the state's Department of Housing and Community Development for use in economic and community development, housing, social services, preservation and conservation and recreation. Cities are generally entitled to annual grant funding but smaller communities' applications are not guaranteed. BRPC has overseen a number "regional" grants, including for a similar housing rehabilitation grant for Cheshire and New Marlborough
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