Buckland Selectboard chair bids farewell, having moved to Charlemont

  • Foreground left to right, Buckland Selectboard member Clint Phillips, Chair Zachary Turner, member Barry Del Castilho, Shelburne Police Chief Gregory Bardwell, Shelburne Selectboard member Andrew Baker and acting Buckland Police Chief Kurt Gilmore at a Buckland Selectboard meeting in November. Turner resigned from the board, effective Feb. 1, because he moved to Charlemont, and Del Castilho became the new chair on Tuesday. STAFF FILE PHOTO/DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer
Published: 2/9/2022 4:52:28 PM

BUCKLAND — Zachary Turner used Tuesday’s Selectboard meeting to thank and say goodbye to voters, having resigned as chair effective Feb. 1.

Turner moved to Charlemont and stepped down from his leadership role at the beginning of the month to ensure no laws were violated. Selectboard members must reside in the town they serve.

“I loved every minute of my time on the Selectboard. Even some times when I was frustrated I wouldn’t have traded it for anything,” he said Tuesday, going on to thank Town Administrator Heather Butler, everyone he served with, and his wife, “for understanding the time that I spent staring at my computer screen, if I was in a meeting or on a Zoom (call) or when I rambled on for long periods of time, which I’m good at, about town issues.”

Turner mentioned he was born and raised in Buckland and he has not ruled out serving again if he ever moves back to town.

Barry Del Castilho, who was voted the new chair during Tuesday’s meeting, said Turner’s knowledge of people, equipment and land is irreplaceable.

“We would normally say you’re going to be missed, but we can say you’re already missed. We miss a lot of what you’ve done and a lot of what you do,” Del Castilho said. “I’ve been impressed with many things — your meeting preparation, while I’m sure you wouldn’t necessarily consider it as a model, I think it’s amazing and I think that came through today as tried to prepare for this meeting.”

The Selectboard will operate with two members until the May 3 election.

After his comments, Turner, who also serves as the town’s acting highway foreman on a volunteer basis after Jeremy “Jake” Purinton reportedly took a private-sector job, briefed his former colleagues on the Highway Department’s status. He said Buckland has a great crew and employee Michael Lovett is doing well “kind of quarterbacking things.”

However, Turner said, this season has been exceptionally icy, resulting in salt spending being about $9,000 ahead of where it was last year.

“We’re going to try to use what we have and hopefully we can get to the end of the winter, but I know it’s something the guys are very conscious of and are trying their best to keep that usage down,” he said before mentioning the department’s aging equipment. “I’m sure everybody’s well aware the guys have some pretty old equipment and I just want to rally behind that it’s probably time to start looking at just kind of biting the bullet and replacing some of the bigger equipment. It’s … going to start costing a lot of money if we don’t. Mainly, the loader and the backhoe.”

Selectboard member Clint Phillips said the loader and the backhoe are the two most used pieces of equipment the town owns. Turner added he hopes the backhoe makes it to winter’s end and the loader is in only slightly better shape.

“I was involved in pushing these off just as much as anybody else, but I think, unfortunately, we might have gotten caught with our pants down on this equipment,” he said.

Turner also said the Highway Department is doing well maintaining the old equipment and keeping the trucks on the road.

Reach Domenic Poli at:
dpoli@recorder.com or
413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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