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Blair Crane, Cheshire's highway superintendent, submitted his letter of resignation giving the town three weeks notice.

Cheshire Highway Superintendent Resigning

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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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.

Tags: DPW,   

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MCAS Results Mixed for Hoosac Valley Regional School District

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
CHESHIRE, Mass. — Standardized test results were a mixed bag for the Hoosac Valley Regional School and although there was some progress, the district was penalized because of incomplete data.
Superintendent Aaron Dean went over the 2019 Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System results at Monday's School Committee meeting and noted although the district is classified as "requiring assistance or intervention," this label is not truly accurate of the district's scores and progress.
"I don't see a problem because this is something we are going to stay on top of and I want to make sure we are constantly checking it throughout the year," Dean said. "It is unfortunate that we suffered a little bit in this but all in all the data here is not scary and I think ... we will be able to address these challenges."
Dean said the reason for this classification was the district being "in need of focused/ targeted support" and "failure to meet mandatory data reporting deadlines," which was simply a result of incomplete data that ultimately hurt the district. 
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