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Adams Advertising Community Development Director Post Again

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The town will restart its search for a new community development director after the individual selected backed out of the position.
Town Administrator Jay Green said last week that the finalist candidate, to be ratified by the Selectmen, had informed the town that he was withdrawing his name for "personal reasons."  
"At this point, we are going to re-advertise the position and assess our options from there," Green said. "This is about finding the right person – the right fit – for our community, so we are not going to arbitrarily rush the process or settle."
Green announced at a Selectmen's meeting on Jan. 6 that after finalist interviews, he had hired a new head for the Community Development Department. He planned to bring the name forth at the board's next regularly scheduled meeting to ratify the hiring.
But as of last week, the candidate had pulled his name from consideration.
Longtime Director of Community Development Donna Cesan has retired from the position she had held for more than 19 years.
Green said the town had 17 applicants from all over the country. The six strongest candidates with the most relevant experience were interviewed. This was narrowed down to four and then to a final two.
Green said he was disappointed that the candidate withdrew but not disappointed with the quality of candidates or the hiring process. 
The town was undergoing a police chief search at the same time, and he noted it was a difficult time of year to hire.   
"We performed interviews during the most stressful time of year – just before the holidays – and as COVID-19 infections began to rise nationwide simultaneously with a nationwide police chief search," Green said. "This prohibited any in-person interviews, so it has been a challenge to hire two critical department heads in the middle of a health pandemic that prohibits travel and meeting in person."
He added that people are interested in working in Adams, but it is still difficult to hire in the Berkshires, especially during the current health crisis.
"Adams is attracting candidates from around the country; people want to move here, but there is always a risk in hiring someone from outside of the region and taking on that kind of a move in the middle of a health pandemic and with some economic instability in certain job sectors for spouses makes it even more challenging," Green said. "It's just the reality of the job market right now."
The Community Development Department will not be left totally vacated, and the town budgeted funds to retain Cesan in some capacity to utilize her institutional knowledge and help close out projects.  
"Donna Cesan remains on staff as a consultant and we are able to keep things moving forward based on priority," Green said. 
Green said the town will try again and advertise the position in the very near future.

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Adams Hires Finance Director to Replace Retiring Accountant

By Jack GuerinoiBerkshires Staff
ADAMS, Mass. — The town has hired Crystal Wojcik as town accountant/finance director to replace longtime accountant Mary Beverly who is retiring.
"She is a remarkable young woman and thoroughly impressed her interview panel," Town Administrator Jay Green said. "In addition to the benefit of recruiting a younger generation into local government,  she is ready to take on this critical position and capable of it. She will represent the town well and will introduce a contagious energy in the role."
Beverly plans to retire at the end of the month.
"Mary Beverly has been a cornerstone – if not the foundation – for local government finance in Northern Berkshire for many years," Green said. "The fiscal policies and controls she helped develop and her budget acumen have made  Adams a very stable community. Her retirement is well earned."
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