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Deerfield assistant to serve in interim post

SOUTH DEERFIELD — On Feb. 6., the town will transition to its second interim town administrator as it prepares to fill the permanent position.

On Wednesday , Wendy Foxmyn will finish her last day as interim administrator and take a position with Federal Emergency Management Agency.

In her place, the Board of Selectmen has appointed Executive Assistant Kayce Warren to serve as the new interim administrator.

The choice of Warren, who has worked for the town for 15 years, was a good decision, Selectman David Wolfram said.

“Kayce has a lot of experience with the town. She knows all the players. My experience with her has all been positive,” Wolfram said. “It didn’t make sense to bring someone on from the outside and by the time they learn the town, we could be bringing on someone else for the job.”

Warren will be paid $60,000 as the interim administrator while the Town Administrator Screening Committee begins reviewing applications on Feb. 10.

The town has been without a permanent town administrator since Bernard Kubiak retired last June. Since that time, the town had an audit of its administrative office, revised the job description and posted the $60,000 to $65,000-a-year position. The town has moved slowly, taking an opportunity to review the town office operations and to discuss what it would like to see from its administrator.

Last June, the town recruited Foxmyn for the temporary position while it revised the job description and looked for its next permanent administrator.

Working in local governments across western Massachusetts over 30 years, Foxmyn noticed “Deerfield is a big small town ... I’m not sure everyone realizes that. There is a lot of activity. For a town this size, to have this much academic and industrial activity is different.”

Over the next seven months, Foxmyn transformed the corner office in the Town Hall — not only in the way the desks and papers were organized with open windows and a touch of flowers, but in the way the general workplace mood seemed to improve despite the ever increasing work load town employees have in running the town.

Foxmyn became known for her team building and for helping others. Interested residents and town volunteers filing into the office to talk town politics or express their concerns became a common site in the town office.

Board of Health Agent Richard Calisewski said working with Foxmyn has been wonderful. The sentiment, he said, has been expressed by many town residents.

Police Chief John Paciorek Jr. said it will be a true loss to Deerfield.

“She was energetic, enthusiastic and a wonderful kind person who believed in bringing people together no matter what side you were on,” Paciorek said.

“It was great working with her. She did an excellent job,” said Highway Director Shawn Patterson. “She is very pleasant to work with. She got a lot of things done.”

During Foxmyn’s stay, the town scratched off several tasks on its growing to-do list, including going out to bid on the town-wide cemetery restoration project, requesting proposals for the Oxford Pickle plant property and approving new zoning for medical marijuana dispensaries. She also applied for a community innovation grant from the state to help fund the new South County Emergency Medical Service, the results of which the town expects to find out soon.

She also helped fill three department positions — the town accountant, treasurer/collector/clerk and assistant town treasurer.

After nine years of dormancy, Foxmyn pushed the town to reactivate the Deerfield Economic Development Industrial Corp., a group charged with overseeing development in the industrial park.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.

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