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Deerfield’s year without a town administrator

SOUTH DEERFIELD — It has been one full year since the town has had a permanent full-time town administrator. And, despite changes to the job description, searches and public interviews, the Board of Selectmen is still trying to decide how much authority the top manager in town should wield.

At its meeting on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall, the selectmen will once again discuss the job description of the town administrator and town administrative assistant to figure out how they fit together, Selectboard Chairman Carolyn Ness said.

The next step will likely be advertising the assistant’s job, Ness said. If there are any substantial changes to the job descriptions, they will have to go before the Personnel Board.

The search for the next town administrator dates back to June of last year, when Bernard Kubiak retired from the position. Wendy Foxmyn succeeded Kubiak temporarily as interim administrator until February, after which Kayce Warren took on the job, splitting her time between that position and her existing job as executive assistant.

Over the course of the year, the town had a state audit completed, which advised creating a stronger town administrator role. With the state report in hand, the Personnel Board went to work on a new updated job description — an arduous task that also stirred debate among town officials who differed on the position’s role.

The final job description differed little from the original version.

The Personnel Board later advertised the job and interviewed 14 candidates.

In May, the board interviewed Michael Bissonnette, who served four terms as mayor of Chicopee, Andrew Golas, who is the executive assistant for the town of Palmer, and George R. Zimmerman, the 10-year elected city treasurer in Northampton for the position at the recommendation of the Personnel Committee.

In June, the selectmen suspended the search, saying the delay was due to the selectmen’s desire to find a candidate that is a perfect fit for the town and its needs. Warren, who has worked for the town for 10 years, is being considered a likely pick for the job by the selectmen.

In the meantime, Bissonnette and Golas have withdrawn their names from consideration.

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

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