Adams Selectmen Ratify Emergency Management Director, Forest Warden Chief

By Brian RhodesiBerkshires Staff
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ADAMS, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen ratified the appointments of Amalio Jusino as emergency management director and Griffin Willette as Forest Warden chief.

The board ratified these positions at its meeting on Wednesday. Richard Kleiner had previously held both roles and is stepping down and transitioning into a consulting role.

"This is not a goodbye to Chief Kleiner," Town Administrator Jay Green said of Kleiner, who has been serving in his role for 29 years. "But he has recognized it's time to pass on the torch."

Willette has been with the Adams Forest Wardens for more than a decade. In a letter to the board, Kleiner gave Willette a strong recommendation.

"He has shown over the years to be collaborative with other department members," he wrote. "And he has grown in his knowledge of the operation of the organization and has excellent communication skills with both the department members and the public."

In addition to his new role, Jusino serves as the emergency management director and assistant director of campus safety at Williams College. Jusino is also a member of the Berkshire Regional Emergency Planning Committee.

"I will admit that I am not a resident of Adams, but when I work for this town you'll think that I am," Jusino said.

Board Chair John Duval thanked Kleiner for his years of service to the town and presented him with a public service award certificate.

"I want to thank you, as a lifelong resident of this community, for all the work that you've done for the town of Adams," he said.

Kleiner thanked the board for its support throughout his tenure and stressed the importance of cooperation leading to success for the forest warden.

"It's always a 'we' thing. It's never an 'I' thing," he said. "And that's the way it works out the best. We will accomplish what we do together."

Green applauded the work Kleiner, Jusino and Willette. He said their work has been crucial to helping the town navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I'm proud this evening to recognize Chief Kleiner, I'm proud this evening to present the two names in front of you this evening for appointment and I'm proud of the public safety infrastructure that we have here in the town of Adams," he said. "And the reason why we were able to be so resilient and respond, I thought, fairly well to the unknown and uncharted territory over the last two years with this health pandemic is because of the foundation and the support I received as town administrator from these folks."

In addition to Jusino and Willette, the board ratified the appointments of several other positions for various departments. Those appointed include Adam Jangrow as a skilled laborer for the Department of Public Works, Peter Celentano as a wastewater treatment plant operator and Kathryn Bellizzi as administrative assistant for the Council on Aging.

Also at the meeting, the board approved the nine members of the General Government Review Committee. The committee members will be Tim Burdick, Carrie Burnett, Jonathan Butler, Carol Cushenette, Virginia Duval, Jeff Grandchamp, George Haddad, Donald Sommer and Leah Thompson.

The committee, which the board has been working to find members for since November of last year, will have the goal of reviewing and recommending changes to the special acts that make up the town's charter.

Green said he is confident this group, in addition to consultant Bernard Lynch of Paradigm Associates, will do a great job of leading the committee in its objective.

"This is going to be a long process," Green said. "And I can tell you that, from my perspective, this is a great opportunity to make some effective change and modernize, essentially, how we conduct business here."

The board heard a presentation from WingWell LLC on a cannabis dispensary, extraction and indoor cultivation site. The location of the site will be 44 Spring St.

Eric Cromwell, chief executive officer of WingWell LLC, said they plan to open both the retail and the growing operation within the next 12 months, with the retail potentially able to open sooner.

"Our timeline is that, in the next year, we should be up and running," he said.

The board approved the all-alcohol licenses club change of officer application for Adams Lodge 1135 BPO Elks at 63 Center St.

Tags: emergency director,   forest warden,   

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Community Bancorp of the Berkshires Elects New Corporators

ADAMS, Mass. — Community Bancorp of the Berkshires, MHC, the newly formed parent company of Adams Community Bank, held its annual meeting on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at Charles H. McCann Technical School in North Adams.
The following individuals were elected corporators of Community Bancorp of the Berkshires, MHC: Marnie Clough of Adams; Erica Samson Girgenti of Adams; Pamela Green of Pittsfield; and Sarah Eustis of Great Barrington.
Board chair Steve Pagnotta welcomed the newly elected corporators. 
"These four individuals are all generous contributors to our surrounding communities and bring a unique background and skillset to the position, which will play an indispensable role in guiding and managing our banking activities," he said.
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