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Five local government employees applied for Conway admin. job

CONWAY — Five experienced applicants working in local municipalities competed for the town administrator job in Conway last winter.

The Town Administrator Search Committee offered the job in March to Amanda Majewski-Winn, formerly of Bernardston, who held the job until she resigned in June to relocate to Cape Cod with her family. The position was later re-filled by the current town administrator, Tom Hutcheson of Greenfield in July.

At the time of Majewski-Winn’s hiring, The Recorder requested the names of the four semi-finalists for the town administrator job in the belief that the public has a right to know who the other final contenders for the job were. When its request was denied, The Recorder appealed to state officials under the state Open Meeting and public records laws and won.

The Town Administrator Search Committee — made up of Selectman Rick Bean, Selectman John O’Rourke, Treasurer Jan Warner, former Personnel Committee chair Heather Rose, and Finance Committee member Andrea Llamas — approved and released the meeting minutes Monday evening, as ordered by the state attorney general’s office.

According to the minutes, Kayce Warren, the executive assistant to the town administrator in Deerfield, was the top candidate among five applicants interviewed after two closed executive sessions on Feb. 26 and March 12.

Warren did not end up accepting the job because the town would not agree to a contract, Warren said this week.

The town ended up offering the job to Majewski-Winn. Majewski-Winn came to Conway after working as the development director of Community Health Center of Franklin County, the town administrative assistant for Pelham and executive assistant for Greenfield Mayor William Martin.

Other applicants included Conway’s current Town Administrator Tom Hutcheson, the regional project planner for the Franklin Regional Council of Governments Ted Harvey and Laura Krutzler, the administrative secretary for the town administrator of South Hadley.

In October, the attorney general’s office found the committee violated the Open Meeting Law by engaging in deliberation outside a properly posted meeting, by failing to comply with the requirements for convening an executive session, by failing to comply with requirements for posting notices and by failing to create open session meeting minutes.

The search committee was ordered to approve and release minutes from its Feb. 26 and March 12 meeting within 30 days.

The search committee was about four weeks late in approving and releasing the minutes, however, because it requested the advice from Town Counsel John Fitz-Gibbon. The committee’s concerns, according to the meeting minutes of Nov. 13, were whether they should release the minutes in full because non-finalists were listed. Another concern was whether to honor a request by Majewski-Winn to keep the interview confidential until she was a final candidate and whether that request should apply to all applicants to be nondiscriminatory.

The attorney general’s office said it continued to monitor the issue to confirm compliance with the order.

The newly released minutes cover four executive sessions. Two meetings occurred on Feb. 26 and March 12 in which the committee screened candidates for the position. Two more meetings occurred on Nov. 13 and Dec. 16 in which the committee reconvened to discuss releasing the minutes from earlier in the year.

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