Chairman Robert Ciskowski reads Blair Crane's resignation letter into the record.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The town is losing its highway superintendent after only two years.
Blair Crane informed the Board of Selectmen by letter that he plans to resign effective Aug. 2.
"After extensive consideration I find myself with a heavy heart as I make a decision that I truly believed I would never have to make. I hereby submit my formal notice of resignation," Crane wrote in the resignation letter read by Chairman Robert Ciskowski. "The association, friends, and lessons learned during my employment here will be truly memorable for the rest of my life."
Crane was hired in the summer of 2017 to replace longtime Superintendent Peter LeFebvre. He came to Cheshire from Atlanta after selling his landscaping business. He is originally from New Hampshire.
Town officials had struggled to hire LeFebvre's replacement. So few qualified applicants were available that talks were broached with Lanesborough about the possibility of sharing a Department of Public Works head.
In general, the Selectmen were pleased with Crane's efforts during his tenure. Enough to renew his contract earlier this year.
Crane added in his letter that he plans to continue living in Cheshire and hopes to be an asset in the transitional period.
"I hope that the nearly three weeks notice is sufficient as I move in a different direction going from civil servant to Cheshire resident," he wrote. "I will make myself available to assist the interim superintendent."
Crane did not attend the meeting and the Selectmen did not elaborate or speculate on why Crane decided to leave the position
"Beyond the letter I really don't know anything at this point. Something may develop as we get closer but right now I know as much as everyone here," Ciskowski said.
Town Administrator Edmund St. John IV said they have time to figure out their next steps and can decide either to begin a full search for a permanent superintendent or appoint an interim.
"The board will have to make a decision when they want to post this and whether or not you want to hire an interim," he said. "Right now, the plan is to transition out and make sure someone is in place."
In other business, the Selectmen read another letter alerting residents that Cheshire Reservoir will be treated for weeds July 17.
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Cheshire Finalizing Plans For Appalachian Trail Tent Site
By Jeff SnoonianiBerkshires Staff
Appalachian Trail Committee's Eileen Quinn talks to the board Tuesday night regarding the new hikers tent site.
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday looked to finalize plans for the new Appalachian Trail tent site. Trail Committee Chairwoman Eileen Quinn was in attendance and had some news for the board as well as some questions to be answered before the anticipated early May opening.
The tenting project has been in the works for a while but gained serious traction in early 2019 when a site was agreed upon and some other logistical issues were sorted out.
Quinn and the board covered several topics large and small, including utilities, rubbish, and perhaps most importantly, lavatories.
"It's not too early to start thinking about our transition and setting up our new site that the town approved last year. There are three books out there for hikers and there's an app that people use all the time. We changed all that to remove St. Mary's (the local parish had been an 'unofficial' campsite for trail users) and to put the new site on there and to advertise that it will be open by May 1st," she said. "I've already lined up way ahead of time the porta-potties so we could get the color green, which is better than the brighter colors. I was able to get them for the whole season."
The relationship between the Board of Selectmen and recently hired Highway Superintendent Robert Navin has been a work in progress since his hiring last fall. Perhaps no more so than the past couple meetings. click for more
Drafted right after Christmas in 1942, the 18-year-old Massaconi was sent to Fort Eustis in Richmond, Va., then to the Pacific Theater. His assignments would include Pearl Harbor, and the Battles of Saipan and Iwo Jima, which he described as "Hell on Earth." click for more