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Williamstown Fire District Seeking Treasurer
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:41PM / Tuesday, October 04, 2022
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Williamstown Fire District is in the market for a new treasurer after Cory Thurston announced at last week's Prudential Committee meeting that he plans to step down from the office.
Thurston has served in the capacity since he was elected in May 2019 to what, at the time, was the district's clerk/treasurer position.
A lot changed in the three years that followed. The district broke the clerk and treasurer roles into two separate jobs, and it moved them from elected offices to positions appointed by the five-person Prudential Committee.
"That was changed from an elected official a few years ago to make sure the district had a qualified candidate," Thurston reminded the committee at its September meeting. "Because it is an important job. And the state requirements tend to grow exponentially as time moves forward."
According to the job description on the district's website, the treasurer post requires an average of eight hours of work per week to manage the district's books, comply with record keeping requirements and manage the payroll, among other duties. "Experience in municipal finance is preferred," and the hourly compensation will be commensurate with experience, according to the posting.
Thurston told the committee last week that one candidate has expressed an interest in the job.
Prudential Committee members Lindsay Neathawk and Alex Steele volunteered to vet candidates and bring a recommendation back to the full panel for appointment.
Thurston said he planned to leave the post by Nov. 1 but would be available to help with the transition process.
In other business on Wednesday, the Prudential Committee voted to appoint a project coordinator to help facilitate communication between contractors and elected officials about the new station project district officials hope to begin next year.
"There are so many moving parts here that … I feel I'm left in the dark on some matters," Prudential Committee Chair David Moresi said. "It would be great to have a single point person."
Moresi said Bruce Decoteau, the former senior project manager at Williams College, had expressed an interest in serving that intermediary role for the district.
"I almost would look at him as the central hub of the wheel or what have you," Moresi said.
In answer to a question from committee member Joe Beverly, Moresi said the district would be looking at an expense of $125 per hour for the local consultant's help.
"There is a cost associated, but as we've mentioned numerous times, this is a very complex project," Moresi said. "I have a sense such an individual is needed to make things go forward as smoothly as possible going forward. And I think this would be the ideal candidate to assist us.
"I don't see it as a real burdensome position timewise. But I think it will help with the overall flow, especially as we move forward."
Moresi said he expected Decoteau would bill the district for a few hours per week if the project moves forward after a planned December vote to approve the building bond.
"[Decoteau] is a highly regarded guy," Prudential Committee member John Notsley said. "He's very knowledgeable. We need a person. He's local. He's dealt with contractors in the area, many of them. He's dealt with inspections. I think he would be a real asset to the project."
The committee voted 5-0 to make the appointment.
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