Conway surprise

Recorder/Paul Franz
Ed MacDonald, former Conway town administrator

Recorder/Paul Franz Ed MacDonald, former Conway town administrator

CONWAY — While Ed MacDonald has worked as Conway’s first full-time town administrator over the past two months, he has also continued to work at his old job — part-time town administrator in his home town of Chester.

Conway selectmen’s Chairman John O’Rourke said Friday the selectmen were unaware that MacDonald was working two jobs.

“Ed was hired as a full-time town administrator. The impression he gave us is he gave Chester his 30-day notice and left that job,” said O’Rourke. O’Rourke said MacDonald gave the selectmen no signs that he was still employed by Chester.

“Certainly as a full-time town administrator, you can’t do a job for another town at the same time you’re working for another town,” O’Rourke said.

The moonlighting apparently is a moot issue now, as MacDonald surprised the selectmen on Monday when he handed in his resignation letter.

In a one sentence letter, MacDonald wrote “I am giving you my letter of resignation, effective Feb. 7, 2013.” He gave no reason for his departure and would not comment to the press.

The selectmen hired MacDonald on Oct. 24. The position was a salaried 37.5 hours per week job with the salary set at $52,000. Before formally starting his job, MacDonald laid off the former town administrative aide, Tom Spiro, citing overlapping responsibilities.

During this time, though, the Chester selectmen were aware their town administrator had taken a second job in Conway.

Chester Selectman Donald Ellershaw said MacDonald “never resigned. He’s currently employed in Chester.”

When contacted by phone on Friday by a Recorder reporter, MacDonald did not respond and hung up.

On the Chester town website, MacDonald is listed as the town administrator.

MacDonald has worked in Chester for three years. Ellershaw, who called The Recorder to learn more about his sudden departure from Conway, said the Chester town administrator is “in a sense” part-time.

To fit in the two jobs, MacDonald adjusted his hours in Chester. Before starting his job in Conway, MacDonald worked 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Chester Monday through Wednesday. He adjusted his hours later to Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturdays, Ellershaw said.

“He didn’t reduce his hours by any means,” Ellershaw said. “He’d come into work after working in Conway. His duties were still the same.”

Ellershaw, who was re-elected in May, said he has a good working relationship with MacDonald.

“He gets it done. The tasks he needs to accomplish are always completed,” Ellershaw said.

Located in the Berkshire foothills, Chester is a small rural community and a former mill town with a population of about 1,250 people. Conway’s population is about 1,900.

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