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Select Board member Ronald Boucher and Danielle Luchi earlier this year. Boucher has submitted his resignation from the board and Luchi, vice chairman, was sworn in as chairman on Thursday.

Clarksburg Chairman Resigns From Select Board

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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CLARKSBURG, Mass. — The town is down to two Select Board members with the departure of Chairman Ronald Boucher. 
 
Boucher, in his second term, submitted his resignation from the board on Thursday, Sept. 2.
 
He said he felt he didn't have the time to dedicate to the position, noting he has nine grandchildren and a new job that keeps him on the road a lot. 
 
"It's been a tough three years," he said. "There were a lot of changes within town government, changes in my life and there comes a point ... I've given back enough and I just don't have basically the adequate time and energy to do it the right way."
 
Boucher acknowledged that this resignation had taken the other board members by surprise but he didn't think it was fair to the taxpayers to stick around if he couldn't commit 110 percent. 
 
Select Board member Danielle Luchi confirmed his resignation and said she was sworn in as chairman of the board by Town Clerk Marilyn Gomeau on Thursday morning. 
 
"I'm happy to take on the responsibility as the new chairman," she said. 
 
Boucher, a former North Adams city councilor, was elected to a three-year term on the board as a write-in 2018 and re-elected this past May.
 
There is no Select Board meeting scheduled yet this month. Luchi, elected in 2019 and vice chairman, said no decision has been made about filling the board vacancy. Boucher said he had strongly advised holding a special election "because you really need three people on that board."
 
"I've been talking with Marilyn, she's looking through bylaws, and talking with town counsel," Luchi said. "I'm taking it one day a time and doing what's best for the town."
 
She said it was important to prioritize things, particularly what's been happening in the town treasurer's office, where a consultant has been working with the treasurer to straighten out the town's finances.
 
The problems there had boiled over at the last Select Board meeting in August when Boucher lost his temper over the chaotic conditions in the office. His resignation came a week later. 
 
Boucher is also the town moderator, taking the post after no one stood for election this past spring, and said he will continue in that role. 

Tags: resignation,   

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BRPC Developing Action Plan for Safer Roads, Crosswalks

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A countywide effort is developing a systematic approach to roadway safety for motorists and pedestrians. 
 
Three public sessions were planned with the third is set for 10 a.m. Friday at the Great Barrington firehouse on State Road. There is also a Zoom option.  The first two were held Thursday: at North Adams at noon and in Dalton at the public library at 5:30.
 
The sessions are being hosted by the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission for the Safe Travel and Equity Plan for our Streets (STEPS) initiative.
 
The nation, overall, has seen an uptick in the number of crashes, injuries and fatalities over the last decade, after tracking comparable to the European Union. Nicholas Russo, senior transportation planner at BRPC, said that's true of Berkshire County as well as fatalities have increased over the past five years. 
 
Pedestrian and bicycle accidents only make up about 2 percent of all incidents but 20 percent of the serious and fatal crashes.
 
North Adams has the No. 1 "intersection by severity" with 16 injury crashes and two serious injury crashes within a five-year span. No surprise, it's where Hodges Cross Road meets Curran Highway. The intersection became much busier over the past decade with the opening of the Walmart Supercenter and a Cumberland Farms. 
 
The initiative has also developed a dashboard highlighting problem traffic areas that will be available for the public to comment on. 
 
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